Home' Teacher : April 2011 Contents News
The revamped My School website of the
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and
Reporting Authority (ACARA) went live
last month, providing financial informa-
tion on all schools and students' literacy and
numeracy achievement as measured by the
National Assessment Program -- Literacy
The aim of the revamp, according to
ACARA Chair Professor Barry McGaw, in
a statement on the My School website, is to
provide information on individual schools
and to enable comparisons of students'
performances in literacy and numeracy
across schools. 'These comparisons provide
information to support improvements in
schools,' McGaw explains in the statement.
'Among schools with similar students, those
achieving higher student performances can
stimulate others to lift expectations of what
they and their students can achieve.'
The initial reaction focused on the hot
topic of school funding. Anna Patty, writ-
ing in the Sydney Morning Herald, set the
cat among the pigeons, writing that, 'Some
Catholic schools on Sydney's north shore
are getting more government funding than
public schools serving poorer communities
in the western suburbs, according to the. . .
My School website.'
Independent Education Union of Aus-
tralia Federal Secretary Chris Watt cried
foul. 'Why wasn't the question asked as to
how those same northern suburbs Catholic
schools compared to neighbouring govern-
ment schools?' he asked. 'The simple answer
is that location counts and the key driver
of costs in schools is salaries . . . . There is a
much greater concentration, in both Catho -
lic system schools and government schools,
of experienced teachers on higher salaries
in the northern suburbs than in the western
Executive Director of the Catholic Educa-
tion Office Sydney Dr Dan White pointed
out that Catholic systemic schools receive
substantially less total combined funding
from state and Commonwealth governments
than do state schools. 'Even when school fees
for systemic Catholic schools are added to
the funding provided by both governments,
the total amount of funding per student is
still less than for state schools,' he said.
Trevor Cobbold, National Convenor of
the Save Our Schools state school lobby
said problems remain with the My School
website, but added, 'The school financial
data strengthens the case for change in the
funding of government and private schools.
It exposes the massive resource advantage
of elite private schools over highly dis-
advantaged govern ment schools. Yet, the
elite schools continue to get large govern-
ment grants and want even more.'
NOT EVERYONE LIKED WHAT THEY SAW ON THE NEW MY SCHOOL
WEBSITE. STEVE HOLDEN REPORTS.
The NZ Ministry of Education is relocat-
ing schools that remain closed on sites
shared with undamaged schools. In some
instances, schools will share facilities by
timetabling the school day in either the
morning or afternoon.
The Ministry of Education has also
established nine 'learning hubs' to provide
resources and support for students who are
studying from home.
An estimated 7,500 students have left the
Christchurch region with their families and
have enrolled elsewhere. Education Minis-
ter Anne Tolley said she expected many of
those families to return. 'Once the schools
are open and there are some decisions made
around housing and land, and the city starts
getting itself back on its feet, I'm sure some
families will come back,' she said.
Overseas students at the King's Educa-
tion Language School located in the six-
storey Canterbury Television building died
when the six-storey building collapsed. The
students were from Japan, China, the Phil-
ippines, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan
From 350 kilometres above Japan, a
United States National Aeronautics and
Space Administration Expedition 26 crew
member onboard the Inte rn ation al Space
Station took this image of Sendai and the
coast north on 13 March. Image courtesy
w ww. schoolaid.org. au/projects/the -
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