Prime Minister Kevid Rudd has delivered a wide-ranging speech on the Australian Government's current wave of education reforms. See transcripts of the Prime Minister's speech and questions and answers 27 August 2008, and doorstop interview with Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard 28 August 2008. See also article in The Australian 28 August 2008, report on the Prime Minister's response to the Australian Education Union in The Australian 29 August 2008, commentary by Mike Williss in Online Opinion 29 August 2008, and article covering the opinions of Chris Sarra in The Australian 29 August 2008. A further article, on Commonwealth–State negotiations over implementation of school reforms, appears in The Australian, 28 August 2008.
A study of the Australian Government's policy towards school funding has been published by the Australian Education Union (AEU). See AEU media release, article in the Sydney Morning Herald and article in The Age, all 27 August 2008.
Queensland Education and Training Minister Rod Welford has announced that more Queensland public schools, students and teachers are to benefit from $315 million in funding in the next stage of State Schools of Tomorrow, the Government's $850 million school renewal initiative. See Minister's media statement, 26 August 2008.
Commentator Kevin Donnelly has opposed suggestions that the scope of current national testing in Australia should be extended, arguing that 'the dangers of overtesting are increasingly evident in Britain and the US'. See article in The Age: Education, 25 August 2008.
The Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ) has sketched out a range of issues of concern to teachers in the country. While noting that education is a popular career choice, the union argues that teachers face many problems including low pay, unruly students, difficult parents and violence in schools. In a poll by the union and the magazine Kotiliesi, only 13 per cent of male teachers and 21 per cent of female teachers expressed satisfaction with their career choice. See article in YLE News, 4 August 2008.
A new study involving Aboriginal children has challenged the idea that we need language in order to count, suggesting that basic mathematical abilities are genetically encoded. The children, who had only words for 'one', 'two', and 'more than two', demonstrated numeracy levels equivalent to English-speaking children. The research raises the possibility of early identification and targeting of developmental mathematics disabilities. See article in The Australian, 19 August 2008.
Classes in Mandarin for primary school students are proving increasingly popular in the US state of Ohio. The number of young students involved has tripled in the last year. The increased interest follows a successful trial program for students in kindergarten through to Grade 4 level. See article in the Toledo Blade, 18 August 2008.
In New South Wales, random headcounts of school children are being conducted following claims that an Independent school principal exaggerated student numbers in a claim for funding, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, 12 August 2008.