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2018 7 May


ET News Digest
Your Weekly Education Newsletter
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NAPLAN statistically flawed
As schools embark on the NAPLAN testing for the year, academics have called the data generated flawed and criticised publishing on the MySchool website as probably the worst way to use it.
     The researchers from universities across Australia said the rationale behind publishing the data was wrong headed; primarily it aimed to improve transparency and assist families in choosing where to school their children but really did nothing of the sort. Read more

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More maths focus needed
We’re not doing enough maths. It isn’t being taken up by senior high school students and it isn’t a pre-requisite for a lot of uni courses which always used to require it.
     The result is we don’t have enough properly trained maths teachers and professionals in maths intensive jobs; at least 26% of Years 7–10 maths classes are taught by an out-of-field teacher.
     What is needed is a cultural and attitudinal shift according to the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. Read more

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Vic Catholic Education calls funding “a shambles”
A year after Gonski 2.0, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria has voiced its opinions about Senator Simon Birmingham’s funding package and it's not happy, to put it mildly.
     Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Executive Director Stephen Elder says, “The warning bells started ringing when Senator Birmingham decided he knew how to develop what he called a fair, consistent and equitable funding model without consulting anyone other than the independent school sector." Read more

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Gonski 2.0 responses – academics speak
It’s been out for a few days now and the punditry has weighed in on the ideas that Gonski has forwarded. Predictably, there’s a range of responses varying from the very positive to the very negative.
     The personalisation of learning, tracking individual progress with data and the introduction of tools to assist have been seen generally as a good thing.
     They remain ideas at this point and will need a lot of work and funding to be set in place. Read more

Why “Why?” is a good thing
Curiosity may not have worked out well for the cat but it's a good thing when teaching children how to read and do maths.
     And for children from poorer communities, curiosity is even more important for higher academic achievement than for children from more well-off backgrounds, and may serve as a potential target of intervention to close the poverty associated achievement gap.
     Children who have a range of socio-emotional skills are generally more successful when they start school. Read more

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Grime proofing everything
Grimy, sticky fingers everywhere on everything, germs, viruses it’s enough to make you sick, literally. But thanks to science we’re entering a new age of cleanliness with the discovery of a new anti-everything coating.
     In an advance that could grime-proof phone screens, countertops, tablets, doorknobs... materials science researchers have invented a smooth, durable, clear coating that swiftly sheds water, oils, alcohols, everything. Read more

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Mass school shootings highest ever
If it seems that the frequency of high school mass shootings in the US is increasing you would be correct: more people have died or been injured in mass school shootings in the US in the past 18 years than in the entire 20th century.
     Researchers found the recent killing of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida is part of an epidemic.
Read more