Home' Teacher : May 2010 Contents EDITORIAL
As Commonwealth Minister for Educa-
tion Julia Gillard announced in a speech
at the Sydney Institute last month, Com-
monwealth schools funding is to be
reviewed. That review will rely heavily
on data published on the My School
website, using results gathered through
National Assessment Progra m -- Liter-
acy andNumeracy tests, as wellas infor-
mation on student intake and school
location, with additional information
on school income expected soon. Gillard
promised she'd announce a ny new fund-
ing arrangements in 2011, before the
beginning of the next funding agree-
ment for the quadrennium 2013-16 and
guaranteed that no school would be
worse off as a result of the review.
Labor's election promise in 2007 was to
maintain the controversial funding sys-
tem of the previous Commonwealth
government of John Howard for the cur-
rent quadrennium. Now adding her no-
worse-off guarantee, a nd a review 'that
is fully informed by the facts and the
evidence,' it's clear Gilla rd wa nts to
keep gover nment and non-government
schools happy. By coming clean on the
purpose of the My School data, though,
Gillard also appears to have sidelined
the campaign by the Australian Educa-
tion Union (AEU) against it. Her use of
My School data to underpin the review
of schools funding is now likely to make
the AEU position untenable. As Gillard
observed in her Sydney Institute speech,
'Public education advocates believe
that...every win for public education
flows to non-government schools and
public education can never make up
ground.' If Gillard's funding review
really does 'look at the full ra nge of stu-
dent needs and the full range of ways in
which schools a re resourced, across all
schools,' could we be looking at a fund-
ing system that is actually fair? T
4 TEACHER MAY 2010
Number of languages taught in a for-
mal education program in 2006: 133,
including 50 Indigenous languages.
Top 10 languages taught in a formal
education program: by enrolment,
Japanese, Italian, Indonesian, French,
German, Chinese-Mandarin, Arabic,
Spanish, Greek and Vietnamese.
Percentage of students who study one of
these top 10 languages: 97 per cent.
Number of language students in mainstream
public education in 2006: 1,401,550.
Number studying Japanese: 332,943.
Studying Italian: 322,023.
Studying Indonesian: 209,939.
Studying French: 207,235.
Studying German: 126,920.
Studying Chinese-Mandarin: 81,358.
Number of states that produce compre-
hensive annual reports on languages
education: one, by the Victorian
Department of Education and Early
Source: Lo Bianco, J. & Slaughte r, Y. (2009). Second
Languages and Australian Schooling. Australian
Education Review. Melbourne: ACER.
1. What is a 'learning walk'?
2. Does Catherine Scott argue that gen-
der is irrelevant in education?
3. Which pioneering philanthropist,
educationalist and Sydney Public Free
Grammar School governor appears on
the $20 note?
4. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived
students are more likely to get poorer
grades than students who sleep longer.
True or false?
5. What's so special about the SWANs
assessment tool of the University
of Melbourne's Graduate School of
Education Assessment Research Centre?
6. Mary Featherstone advocates the use of a
simple technique when you're designing a
new learning environment. What is it?
7. Off- campus activities are not worth
the risk. True or false?
8. What do most educators do when
they're bullied in the workplace?
9. When does consultation end on the
draft national curriculum?
10. What is the hallmark of effective
Answers: 1. essentially, visits to schools by educators to make comparisons between their own school's ways and those of the schools
they encounter; 2. no, she argues that gender does matter, because it determines how we treat children and what we expect from
them; 3. Mary Reibey; 4. true, according to David Sousa; 5. it assesses students with additional needs on the basis of their abilities
rather than their disabilities; 6. build and use a prototype in a portable classroom; 7. false, according to Leneen Forde and Rena
Solomonidis; 8. resign, according to Joan Squelch; 9. 23 May; 10. simplicity.
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