Extensive discussion of transparency and accountability requirements for schools
This week there has been extensive discussion about the merits of publishing school-level data, including test performance data, on the internet. For an overview of the Australian Government's position see media statement by Minister for Education Julia Gillard, 26 May 2009. Publication of the data has been criticised by former Melbourne University Dean, Brian Caldwell: see report in The Age 28 May 2009 and report on ABC News 28 May 2009. See also earlier report in The Age and related report in the Sydney Morning Herald, both 26 May 2009; editorial in The Australian 28 May 2009; and opinion piece in The Age 29 May 2009. The Australian Secondary Principals Association (ASPA) has completed a national survey seeking views from school communities regarding the use of test data: see ASPA statement and survey results. See also briefing paper by the Australian Education Union (AEU).
Government advice on swine flu in schools
The Australian Government has provided a list of resources and other information for schools to help deal with the swine flu outbreak. General information can also be obtained via the Swine Flu Hotline, Tel: 180 2007.
New support announced for international students in Australia
Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard has announced that the Government will invite international student representatives to participate in a round table to discuss issues affecting their study experience such as accommodation, welfare and safety, and provide feedback on how best to provide ongoing support to international students. See media statement 26 May 2009. See also the Minister's later media statement 28 May 2009 in response to attacks on Indian students in Melbourne; Victorian Government media release 27 May 2009; and report on the attacks in The Age 29 May 2009.
Distribution of education funding queried
Principals in Victoria have asked for more information from the State Government concerning the distribution of Australian Government funding for school infrastructure. See article in The Age 24 May 2009 and letter in The Age 26 May 2009 from Gabrielle Leigh, President of the Victorian Principals Association.
New online community for teaching with TV
Enhance TV has developed a new online community for teachers to share with peers the ways that they use television in their classrooms. The initiative follows feedback from teachers using the site. EnhanceTV supplies study guides and copies of television programs to educators, and provides a collaborative online environment where teachers can communicate through video, text, podcasts, links, and online polls. See media release 6 April 2009.
New resource to assist researchers
The Australian National Data Service (ANDS), developed by Monash University, the Australian National University and the CSIRO, is to provide researchers with a resource to manage, store and share research data. See Monash University media release 29 April 2009.
Phonics in the National Curriculum
The Australian newspaper has highlighted the concerns of a group of academics regarding the place of phonics within draft guidelines for the forthcoming National Curriculum. See article 27 May 2009 and subsequent report 28 May 2009.
New online opportunity to comment on NSW curriculum
The Board of Studies NSW has invited teachers, students and other interested people in the State to share their thoughts about New South Wales' syllabuses and related curriculum items. See Board of Studies news item 27 May 2009.
New CSU program to support technology teachers
To offset potential shortages of qualified technology teachers, Charles Sturt University has introduced the Bachelor of Education (Technology and Applied Studies). See Charles Sturt University media release 18 April 2009.
Anxious children sleep later and less: study
New research has shown that school-aged children with anxiety disorders go to bed later and sleep less than other students, an issue that may have implications for their performance and development. See Macquarie University media release 22 April 2009.
Presenters needed for VCE VATE/VATME student day
The Victorian Association of Tesol and Multicultural Education, Inc (VATME) is seeking session presenters to speak on the topic of identity and belonging, and the texts Maestro, Kite Runner, and Sky Burial at the VCE VATE/VATME student day on 10 October 2009. Interested individuals should contact John Ingamells: email@example.com.