Students are having a hard time, teachers are having a hard time.
This is the conclusion of a scathing review of Australia’s education sector, which found no growth in the number of students failing literacy and numeracy standards despite additional funding being poured into schools. Hmm.
A National School Reform Agreement Productivity Commission review found that about 90,000 students each year do not meet minimum reading or numeracy standards.
The report found that Indigenous students were three times more likely to fall behind in school, as were those whose parents had lower levels of education.
Commissioner Natalie Siegel-Brown recommended the Australian government to establish literacy and numeracy targets to improve outcomes.
“Targets do not guarantee success, but they do create a clear direction for reform and hold governments accountable,” said Siegel-Brown.
The commissioner said the lack of data on rural and remote students, students with disabilities and students from disadvantaged backgrounds meant that states and territories were not held accountable.
Also, due to the shortage of teachers, I often had to teach subjects that I had no training for.
Commonwealth Education Minister Jason Clare said the report was “pretty bad” and that while Australia had a good education system, it could be better.
“I don’t want my life’s possibilities to depend on where I live,” said Clare.
“However, the report shows that children from poor Indigenous families are less likely to meet the criteria.”
Clare said school funding needs to be tied to and targeted at educational reform.
“The report doesn’t say, ‘Decrease funding for underperforming schools,'” said Clare.
“What it says is, ‘Implement targeted reforms to support these schools.'”
The Australian Education Federation said the government should also look at unfair funding arrangements between public and private schools.
Union president Korena Haythorpe said there had been a “denial of full and fair funding” for 2.7 million children in Australian public schools.
“The current funding arrangements are so seriously flawed that they keep public schools well below the minimum funding standards,” Haythorpe said.
“Improving educational outcomes for all students cannot be separated from school funding.”
Terry Burke, secretary of the Independent Educational Union’s Queensland and Northern Territory chapter, said educators were overwhelmed with paperwork and that student performance would not improve unless teachers’ workloads improved. says.
“Paperwork, increased bureaucracy and an obsession with data are killing our jobs,” Burke said in a statement.
The federal government is working to address teacher shortages in rural areas by proposing to pay off student debt for teachers who teach in remote areas for four years.
This will save teachers an average of $35,000 (US$24,370), up to 2,000 will benefit immediately, and 500 additional teachers are expected to qualify each year.