Keep It Up Australia

Sifting through the ‘education’ news lately, and there seems to be an influx of NAPLAN or Gonksi reform stories. It appears to be nearly impossible to find an education story that isn’t on these two issues. The Sydney Morning Herald however, was my savior: as a scrolled down I saw “Australian unis excel in education and psychology rankings.”

Melbourne University shone in the latest QS World University Rankings, receiving third for its’ education course, seventh for psychology, and among the global top ten for linguistics, medicine, accounting and law.

The article gave a short and sweet run-down of which Australian universities placed in the rankings, and for which courses. Melbourne University’s dean of education also had a few words to say about the high honor:

Melbourne University’s dean of the graduate school of education, Field Rickards, said the ranking was an “endorsement” of the teaching and research carried out by his faculty’s staff.

“This also reflects on our innovative graduate programs, which are attracting very high quality candidates,” he said.

The article gave an insight into Australia’s high quality of education on a global scale, with a sneaky little final sentence which could be an attack at the recent Gonski reforms exclusion of Universities and tertiary students: “governments of all persuasions needed to protect and grow those opportunities.”

Then again, it could just be coincidental…

– Dillyn ✑

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Boycott the Naplan

“Teacher Faction Joins Campaign Against NAPLAN“. The title speaks for itself. More and more people seem to be joining the fight against NAPLAN, and this article published yesterday in the Sydney Morning Herald just reiterates that fact. Now not only are students and parents dissing the National tests, teachers and even principals are.

A handful of Victorian educators including a principal have joined the “boycott NAPLAN coalition” ( campaign, discouraging students from participating in the tests.

Unsurprisingly, the article is less to do with education and more to do with politics, which seems to be the standard when it comes to education news, but there was this one sentence which had a slight glimmer of the education of children:

“[Lucy Honan, a year 7 teacher] said schools were obsessed with test preparation, leading to stressed students and a narrowing of the curriculum.”

Then, that glimmer was brutally squashed by more politics:

“A spokeswoman for Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett said parents valued the information NAPLAN provided, which was reflected in the consistently high participation rates of about 90 per cent.”

The article itself, although seemingly adhering to the standard ‘non-education’ frame, was undeniably well-written and had well-researched facts and sources.

– Dillyn ¶

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It’s Only a Pipe Dream, Japan

The newest education scoop I have here for you is an international article. Coming all the way from Japan (from my seat here on my bed in Australia) is an article which was published in The New York Times on the 5th of May.

The article “Scholarships to Encourage More Japanese Students to Study Overseas” explains of a new idea from Japan’s education minister Hakubun Shimomura, in which scholarships would be offered to Japanese students to continue their studies abroad. The plans come from a series of education initiatives in Japan which intend to make the country more internationally competitive.

“The number of Japanese students studying overseas peaked at 82,945 in 2004 and fell to 58,060 in 2010”

The scholarships would not be available until early 2017 however, and will only be given to students enrolled at Japanese Universities who decide to switch their studies to start in the Autumn rather than Spring, which would match other international countries.

The article (mostly good and informative) is also quite annoying. As discovered in the last paragraph “there is no serious discussion taking place” so, I guess the article was more of a pipe-dream than news?

– Dillyn Ұ

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Experience Pays!

In a bold new move, Education experts, business leaders and politicians involved in the Gonski Reform are calling for teacher salaries to be increased upwards of $100,000.

That’s the latest to come from education news in Australia, in an article which appeared in on the 6th of April. The story which is titled “Education Experts, Gonski Architect Lead Push for Six Figure Teaching Salaries”, suggests that teachers (particularly the more experienced) should be earning a much higher pay. Gonski review Panelist Carmen Lawrence agrees:

“Teacher pay isn’t bad at entry level, but it deteriorates markedly over time”

The article effectively explains the reasons behind the push, stating that there isn’t much of an advance to teacher pay unless they step out of the classroom into administrative of executive roles. Geoff Chambers, CEO of the Australian Council of Academic Research states:

“We need to find out ways of keeping outstanding teachers in classrooms and remunerating them in a way that encourages them to stay and get better at what they do”

The article, like most education news, seems to focus more on politics than the educatoin of children, although the politics in this story is well worth the while, as greater teacher pay would see improved teaching standars, and encourage the best teachers with the most experience to remain in the classrooms to continue their outstanding work.

– Dillyn✎

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Gonski With The Politics

The latest product of my adventure into professional news writing on education is a little more local than Kenya or America. The article which featured in the ABC news earlier this week focused on the Australian Government’s new education reform: the Gonski.

For those who are not aware, the Gonski is a review and funding system for education in Australia. It aims to “equalize” the amount of funding each level of schooling – such as more money to public schools.

Some however, are not convinced. The article explains how none of the Australian states have yet signed up to the plan, with Western Australia for example, stating:

“(we) have an excellent education system… the funding model will not be determined by Canberra”

The other states following with similar opinions.

Clearly the article was not entirely focused on education, as the title “Gillard Pressures State Over Gonski Reform” suggests; its also political.

In standard Australian politician form, some kind of argumentative comment was bound to be made, this time by NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli.

“I’m disappointed that the Prime Minister would choose to conduct her negotiations around Gonski through the media and not through a proper policy process.”

In fact, after reading through the article, I discovered (a little too late) that it may not have much to do with education at all…

– Dillyn ¨

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