News bulletins from the Australian Council for Educational Research published
Masters warns against league tables
Australia must avoid the allure of simple but potentially misleading approaches to comparing the performances of schools, according to the chief executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), Professor Geoff Masters. Speaking ahead of the first in a series of nation-wide seminars for school leaders on the use of student achievement data, Professor Masters said Australia had the opportunity to learn from overseas experience and avoid simple but problematic approaches to the construction of school league tables.
Studies of Asia in Australia
Across Australia, very few Year 12 subjects focus on Asia, according to a report completed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for the Asia Education Foundation. The report, Studies of Asia in Year 12, by Jenny Wilkinson and Gina Milgate, found that Year 12 subjects are significantly more likely to contain content on Europe than they are on Asia.
Queensland Government accepts recommendations of Masters Review
The Queensland Government announced on 29 June that it had accepted all five key recommendations from a review of the state’s primary school education conducted by ACER’s chief executive, Professor Geoff Masters. Professor Masters made the recommendations in a report, A Shared Challenge: Improving Literacy, Numeracy and Science Learning in Queensland Primary Schools, which was delivered to the Queensland Government in late April.
Professor Masters recommended that:
The full report is available at http://education.qld.gov.au/mastersreview
Fair and Flexible Employer recognition
ACER is pleased to announce that it is one of 16 employers to receive a Fair and Flexible Employer Recognition Award 2009–2010, presented by Workforce Victoria and the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development. Victorian Minister for Industrial Relations, Martin Pakula, announced the awards on 23 June. The Fair and Flexible Employer Award recognises employers who have developed innovative programs in policy and practice that improve the work and family balance of their employees. ACER has been recognised for its many flexible arrangements including part time work, flexible leave, paid and unpaid parental leave, carer’s leave and leave without pay as well as flexible provisions for mothers returning from maternity leave and other family-friendly arrangements. ACER’s case study can be read on the Victorian Government’s Ways2Work website.
Schools First applications to open
Schools throughout Australia are invited to apply for a Schools First award and be in the running to share in the $5 million pool of award money. Award applications open on 1 July and close on 14 August.
Schools First, developed by NAB, ACER and the Foundation for Young Australians, is designed to recognise excellence in school-community partnerships. It is Australia’s largest ever corporate-backed education initiative and is open to all schools around the country. Sixty local Impact Awards worth $50,000 each are available. The most outstanding state and territory school–community partnerships will receive $100,000, and one outstanding school-community partnership will be judged the national winner and will receive an award valued between $500 000 - $1 million. In addition, a series of 20 Seed Funding Awards, worth $25,000 each, will be available for schools that require initial funding to get their community partnership started.
To find out more about Schools First and to download application forms, awards criteria, guidelines and Terms and Conditions visit www.schoolsfirst.edu.au or call 1800 649 141.
University students living on campus more engaged: AUSSE
Collegiate education is a growing trend in Australian higher education, and for good reason, according to the latest briefing paper from the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE).
The AUSSE paper has found that university students who live on campus are more engaged, feel more supported, and have better general development.
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