Kevin Donnelly

Reid responds to Donnelly’s “inaccuracies and obfuscations”

My blog of 3/8/2014 was an edited version of the opening statement I made in a debate with Dr Kevin Donnelly about independent public schools (IPS). Dr Donnelly’s opening contribution to that debate was posted on this site on 7/8/2014, to which he added the basis of the rebuttal he made to my arguments. Given the number of inaccuracies and obfuscations in that response, I felt I needed to make my rebuttal public through this blog. Thus the comments in this post need to be read in conjunction with the two earlier blog posts(Find links to these at the end of this post.)

I will deal with Dr Donnelly’s points under three broad questions relating to IPS.

What is school autonomy?

Dr Donnelly insists that he does not support ‘privatising government schools and running schools as profit/loss commercial enterprises’. This is puzzling given the evidence that he uses to support the case for IPS, and it reveals some real conceptual confusions.

The first and most obvious problem is that Dr Donnelly refuses to pin down what he understands school autonomy to mean. His statement ranges across community schools of the 1970s, to private schools overseas, to non-government schools in Australia, to privately managed schools in the United States, India and New Zealand, to Free Schools in England. This extraordinary confusion of structures, approaches, and styles are lumped together and treated as though they all represent a common version of school autonomy. Little wonder that Donnelly does not understand that he is promoting for-profit schools as well as not-for-profit privately managed schools – that is, privatised public education.

There are many Charter schools in the US which are now for-profit schools, the James Tooley schools in India and Africa are for-profit private schools, and in England, Minister Gove is favourably disposed to the presence of for-profit Free schools (interestingly, the Times Education Supplement recently reported that the first for-profit Free school in England has admitted it is offering sub-standard education).  Given that he uses these examples to show that Australia is ‘not alone in giving government schools increased autonomy’ – as though the existence of these models is enough to demonstrate that they work – it is difficult not to draw the conclusion that Dr Donnelly is supporting the privatisation of public schools.

English education researchers Stephen Ball and Deborah Youdell (2007) draw a useful distinction between the different ways in which public schools are being subjected to privatisation tendencies. For them, privatisation can be understood in two ways:

Endogenous privatisation which involves importing ideas, techniques and practices from the private sector in order to make the public sector more business-like and ‘independent’ of systems. This seems to be the direction of IPS in Australia, where Minister Pyne has often talked about his desire to make public schools more like private schools.

Exogenous privatisation which involves opening up public schools to be run by private individuals, corporate companies or organisations for-profit, or not-for-profit. This approach is represented in most of the overseas examples cited by Dr Donnelly.

Both forms of privatisation, founded as they are on the values of choice and competition within an education free-market, change the ways in which public schools are organised and operated. As I argued in my earlier contribution, such changes are inconsistent with the key characteristics, indeed the spirit and essence, of public education. I made it clear that I supported greater flexibility for schools at the local level in the areas of curriculum and school support, within a set of values which are consistent with a public system which fosters the common good. Flexibility in this approach is used by each school to maximise educational quality in the school, but also to collaborate across schools to make better schools and a better system for all. That is not the sort of flexibility being promoted by Dr Donnelly.

If Dr Donnelly does not support privatised public education, he needs to explain why he cites for-profit schools as evidence that school autonomy works.

What are the purposes of IPS?

It is not surprising that having a confused understanding about the meaning of school autonomy results in a confused understanding about its purposes. One would imagine from Dr Donnelly’s response that the purpose of the IPS policy is to give schools greater curriculum freedom since that purpose is the main thrust of all the ‘evidence’ he cites. For example he quotes from PISA that: ‘In countries where schools have greater autonomy over what is taught and how students are assessed, students tend to perform better’ (OECD, 2011).

He even points to his own feelings of ‘excitement, motivation and sense of collegiality’ that developed when the first group of teachers at St Helena Secondary College were ‘freed from external constraints’. I can concur with that, having been a teacher at the new open-space Banksia Park High School in South Australia in the 1970s where we tasted the same curriculum freedom.

The trouble is that is not what IPS is about. The federal government cannot give, and has no intention of supporting, curriculum freedom for schools. As a member of the two person team recommending what to change about the national curriculum ( a top-down model of curriculum change in its own right!), Dr Donnelly more than most should know that there is no intention that independent public schools will be granted exemption from implementing the national curriculum.

No, the federal government is not talking about curriculum freedom. Its IPS focus is on giving Principals greater freedom to manage budgets, resources, infrastructure and staffing. And guess what? In the same PISA research from which Dr Donnelly extracts the quote above is the sentence: ‘… there is no clear relationship between autonomy in resource allocation and performance at the country level’ (OECD, 2011). That’s right, a key finding from the very research Dr Donnelly uses, is that giving school autonomy over budgets and resources – the major thrust of IPS – does not automatically result in improved student learning.  Why would Dr Donnelly not mention that finding?

In my original statement, I raised a number of concerns about giving public schools ‘autonomy’ in public systems, in the absence of:

(a) safeguards to ensure that schools serving large populations of educationally disadvantaged students do not fall behind in resource provision; and

(b) assurances that the additional workload on principals is covered by additional resources; and

(c) strategies developed to ensure that public schools continue to collaborate to build a quality system for all, not compete in an education market where some schools are advantaged and many fall by the wayside.

In short, we need to discuss the limits of giving additional flexibility for schools to manage resources to suit local needs; and, even though it is off the government’s agenda, I would include in that discussion consideration about the level of curriculum freedom needed to enhance educational standards. The key question is how such flexibility can be managed so that it builds, not damages, the public education system as a whole. This requires renewed understandings about the characteristics of public education that as a society we want to protect and foster.

That is, this is not an argument about private schools. It is Dr Donnelly who keeps drawing invidious comparisons between public and private schools. My point is that unlike Minister Pyne, I do not want public schools to be more like private schools. I want public schools to retain the essence of what it means to be a public school. In the diverse system of education we enjoy in Australia, it is important that we differentiate the mission of school systems. I would have thought that advocates of school choice such as Dr Donnelly would celebrate that difference, not seek to create uniformity!

What is the evidence for IPS?

In my contribution to the debate, I developed some philosophical arguments against IPS and then produced empirical evidence to cast doubt on the claims that giving schools greater autonomy over budgets, resources and hiring and firing of staff, will raise the quality of education. In the main I focused on the examples of ‘school autonomy’ cited by Dr Donnelly, the majority of which come from the extreme end of the privatising public education continuum.

I showed that there was a lot of research demonstrating that Charter schools have not improved student learning outcomes, but mentioned that some studies argued that there has been improvement. My conclusion was that it was pointless to simply trade research studies, or just google and quote. Instead, it is important to examine the rigour of the research.

I also pointed to the narrowness of most of the research studies quoted by Dr Donnelly which purport to evaluate the educational outcomes of ‘autonomous’ schools. In the main they only use the results of national or international standardised tests as the gold standard of educational quality. Clearly such outcomes are too narrow. They tell us nothing about key aspects of education quality such as the nature of relationships, school environment or community engagement. Importantly, they do not reveal the damaging effects of Charter schools on the diversity of traditional public schools, their involvement with local communities, and their capacity to collaborate.

In his rebuttal, Dr Donnelly makes a revealing point. He accuses me of referring to Tomorrow’s Schools in New Zealand instead of the ‘school autonomy initiative’ of Partnership schools. I did so quite deliberately because Partnership schools have only just got under way in New Zealand and, as with Independent Public Schools in Western Australia, there is no empirical evidence to show outcomes either way.

I therefore chose as my New Zealand example the self-managing school initiative – Tomorrow’s Schools – which has operated for 25 years, and about which there is a lot of research evidence. In particular I referred to the recent book by Dr Cathy Wylie, the Head of Research at NZCER. In it she describes the many deleterious effects of Tomorrow’s Schools, and argues that New Zealand needs to totally rethink the school autonomy approach and return to more central and regional support for schools.

No wonder Dr Donnelly did not want to refer to that example of school autonomy, but rather mention an experiment about which there is no evidence! As someone who claims to oppose profit/loss school enterprises, he might also be interested to know that the Partnership school experiment in New Zealand involves companies, groups and individuals operating like Charter schools in the US, for-profit as well as not-for profit.

My main message to Dr Donnelly is that if he is going to promote IPS he needs to publicly clarify (a) what he means by ‘school autonomy’; (b) what are the purposes of school autonomy; and (c) what all the research evidence really demonstrates about his version of ‘school autonomy’.

My first blog post on IPS can be found HERE        Kevin Donnelly’s reply can he found HERE

alanreid-1 copyProfessor Alan Reid

Professor Alan Reid AM is Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of South Australia. His research interests include education policy, curriculum change, social justice and education, and the history and politics of public education. He has published widely in these areas and gives many talks and papers to professional groups, nationally and internationally. Alan presented the Radford Lecture at the AARE annual conference in December 2012.

 

 

Kevin Donnelly replies:the Liberal Government’s policy of independent public schools will raise education standards in Australia

(Note: What follows is an edited and expanded version of Dr Kevin Donnelly’s presentation at the recent ACSA sponsored debate titled “That the Liberal Government’s policy of independent public schools will raise education standards in Australia”.  Dr Donnelly argued in the affirmative.)

While the title of this debate describes Independent Public Schools as a Liberal Government initiative it is important to acknowledge that the desire to give government schools increased autonomy and flexibility has the support of both major political parties.

Julia Gillard, when Prime Minister, championed the then ALP Commonwealth Government’s Empowering Local Schools Reform and in a 2010 speech she argued:

“A key element of this reform is empowering local school communities to make decisions about what is best for their schools and their students rather than a centralised system run by State bureaucracies dictating staffing mix and resource allocations.”

The then PM went on to argue that the purpose of the reform was “to ensure the core decisions that make the most difference to student outcomes are devolved to schools”.

Secondly, while recent initiatives like the Western Australian Government’s Independent Public Schools (IPS) are in the news, it is also important to understand that school autonomy has a relatively long history in Australia.

In the 60s and 70s many government schools in and around Melbourne chose their own staff, developed their own curriculum and were free from centralised management and control.

Such schools were supported by the left-of-centre teacher union, the Victorian Secondary Teachers Association (VSTA), and were considered at the ‘leading edge’ of educational reform.  Often described as community schools, they included: Sydney Road, Moreland Annexe and Swinburne Annexe.

Innovations included: alternative year 12 pathways and school-based certificates, general studies, non-competitive assessment and a curriculum based on local needs.  The pedagogical and curriculum approaches, at a time when the traditional, competitive, academic curriculum reigned supreme, drew on radical educators like Neil Postman, Paulo Freire and the de-schooling movement.

The Victorian Government’s decision, during the mid-80s, to open a new style of government secondary school blending the technical and the high school traditions provides a second example of school autonomy predating Independent Public Schools.

These government post-primary schools, such as St Helena Secondary College, were given the power to appoint their own staff, design their own buildings and determine their own curriculum.  As one of the first group of teachers appointed to the St Helena I can attest to the excitement, motivation and sense of collegiality that developed as we were freed from external constraints.

I should also like to point out that Australia is not alone in giving government schools increased autonomy and around the world other examples include:

  • Charter schools in 42 US states including Florida, Milwaukee and Washington State
  • City Academies and Free Schools in England – supported by both the Tony Blair Labour Government and the current Conservative Government led by Prime Minister David Cameron
  • Privately managed schools in disadvantaged slum areas in Indian cities like Calcutta and Bombay (see James Tooley’s book The Beautiful Tree: a personal journey into how the world’s poorest people are educating themselves).

 

Before addressing the question of whether giving government schools increased autonomy will raise standards, I’d like to make a number of observations.

Firstly, and as noted by a report by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission, titled Making the Grade: Autonomy and Accountability in Victorian Schools, autonomy has a range of benefits in addition to whether standards, as measured by tests such as NAPLAN, improve or not.

Possible benefits include: strengthening the ability of principals and school leaders to better manage their schools, thus, improving teacher quality and effectiveness; promoting increased transparency and innovation and using resources more efficiently.

Secondly, giving schools and their communities greater control and reducing the power of governments and their bureaucracies based on the concept of subsidiarity, according to Catholic social theory, is an inherent good.

The principle that ‘decisions are far as practicable are made by those most affected’ is empowering as it acknowledges that teachers, students, school leaders and parents, generally speaking, have a far more realistic and credible understanding on what it is that makes their school unique.

Providing greater flexibility and control at the local level is also more efficient.  Illustrated by the roll out of the Building the Education Revolution (BER) program non-government schools, because of their autonomy and because they were not controlled by head office, achieved better outcomes for students and school communities when compared to government schools.

And, thirdly, based on the example of Catholic and independent schools, that are able to achieve stronger educational outcomes compared to many government schools even after adjusting for students’ socioeconomic background, it is possible to argue that autonomy is beneficial.

Non-government schools, by their very nature, are able to select staff, manage their own budgets and set their own curriculum focus – within general guidelines.

While not all agree that autonomy will lead to stronger outcomes there is increasing evidence, if done properly and recognising that not all schools or schools systems both here and overseas have the same potential to benefit, that autonomy raises standards.

In a 2010 paper titled, How much do educational outcomes matter in OECD countries? E Hanushek and L Woessmann conclude, “In particular, evidence from both within and across countries points to the positive impact of competition among schools, of accountability and student testing, and of local school autonomy in decision making”.

The OCED’s PISA In Focus No 9, dated October 2011, states, “In countries where schools have greater autonomy over what is taught and how students are assessed, students tend to perform better”.

A research paper titled Does school autonomy make sense everywhere? Panel estimates from PISA by E Hanushek, S Link and L Woessmann, in relation to developed countries, is also optimistic when it states,

“Our central findings are consistent with the interpretation that autonomy reforms improve student achievement…” and “…in high-income countries, increased autonomy over academic content, personal, and budgets exerts positive effects on student achievement”.

Research by Caroline Hoxby in the US and Patrick Wolfe’s evaluation of the Milwaukee and Washington DC school voucher programs (of which school autonomy is an important element) also suggest that school autonomy is beneficial.

The fact that school autonomy, when implemented in a considered and balanced way and sensitive to the ability of schools to take up the challenge, is worthwhile is recognized by the Making the Grade report referred to earlier.

It concludes, “…notwithstanding the evidential uncertainties  (chapter 3), the debate is not in fact about whether their should be devolved decision making.  Rather it is about how it should extend, through what means it should be given effect, and what accountabilities are required”.

And now, to return to the topic of today’s debate: “That the Liberal Government’s policy of independent public schools will raise education standards in Australia”.  Based on the example of the Western Australia’s Independent Public Schools, it is too early to tell.

As noted by the evaluation carried out by the Centre for Program Evaluation at the University of Melbourne, “In this early phase of the IPS development there is little evidence of changes to student outcomes”.

The evaluation does note, though, that principals and teachers involved in the IPS program are positive and optimistic.  IPS teachers, in particular, feel more professional, accountable and in control of their careers – leading to an increased sense of self-worth.

At a time when many teachers feel devalued and beginning teachers, in particular, express concerns about teaching as a career anything that can be done, such as increasing school autonomy, that is considered positively should be welcomed.

 

Some rebuttals related to arguments put by Professor Alan Reid – in no particular order.

  • Contrary to what Reid argues I do not support privatising government schools and running schools as profit/loss commercial enterprises.
  • Government schools are not open to all – selective schools enrol only those students who pass the entrance test and not all parents are wealthy enough to buy expensive homes in the enrolment zones of much sought after government schools.
  • Catholic and independent schools, and not just government schools, contribute to the common good.  In fact, research both here and overseas suggests that Catholic schools, in particular, are effective at strengthening social capital and students from such schools experience less racism and are more likely to volunteer.
  • I have previously acknowledged that autonomy is not a universal panacea – in a newspaper comment piece in the Fairfax Press, dated August 2, 2013, I state, “Of course, to argue for autonomy, diversity and choice doesn’t mean all schools and their communities are ready to take on the challenge”.
  • In my ACSA speech I referred to the very recently implemented New Zealand school autonomy initiative involving Partnership Schools.  Professor Reid, when criticizing me, confuses this new initiative with the older Tomorrow’s Schools initiative.
  • In answer to the argument that school autonomy leads to greater inequity and disadvantage the report School Accountability, Autonomy, Choice, and the Equity of Student Achievement: International Evidence from PISA 2003 suggests the opposite is the case.  It states, “The main empirical result is that rather than harming disadvantaged students, accountability, autonomy, and school choice appear to be a tides that lift all boats”.
  • Finally, and contrary to Reid’s argument that advocates of schools autonomy are mainly economists, as published in the Courier Mail the day before the ACSA debate, a survey of 804 Australian principals concluded that there is “an appetite” for more autonomy.

 

KD Kevin Donnelly

Dr Donnelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University and Director of the Education Standards Institute.  Kevin taught for 18 years in government and non-government schools.

The Abbott Government’s policy of ‘independent public schools’ will lower standards and widen inequalities in Australian schools.

[NOTE:This is an edited version of the negative case against the Abbott Govt’s Independent Public Schools policy made by Alan Reid in his debate with Kevin Donnelly held at the Australian Curriculum Studies Association Symposium in Canberra on Friday August 1, 2014. Find a link to the full text  below.]

We enjoy a high quality public education system in Australia, however we should constantly be trying to raise education standards. There is always room for improvement, and we have a particular need to address educational disadvantage across our nation.

Importantly any educational policies we implement should benefit all, not some, Australian children and certainly should not take us backwards.

I believe the Abbott Government’s policy of  Independent Public Schools  (IPS)  is a flawed policy that will do exactly that. It is important to recognise that the concept of ‘independent public schools’ is not synonomous with the current model in Western Australia which carries the same name. Rather it is a broad concept which embodies the philosophy of choice and competition in an education free-market. There are various versions of IPS.

The central attribute of independent public schools is autonomy. From the case put by Kevin Donnelly (co-chair of Christopher Pyne’s  National Curriculum Review ) and from the literature on IPS, it is clear that autonomy can range from approaches which seek to fully privatise public schools, turning them into for-profit institutions run by companies, community bodies or individuals (Kevin Donnelly appears to be a great supporter of this notion of autonomy); to those which seek to maximise the ‘autonomy’ of the principal and the School Board to manage finances, allocate resources, appoint staff and maintain buildings and facilities, while remaining within a public system (this is Minister Pyne’s version).

What is common to both versions are the values of choice and competition. Parents and students are understood to be consumers making educational choices in a free-market. Principals and School Boards are charged with the task of maintaining and increasing market share. It is claimed that this fosters competition between schools as they vie for custom, so promoting educational quality.

I will argue that no matter which version is adopted, it will advantage some Australian children at the expense of others and will take us backwards in our quest to address educational disadvantage. Worse, I believe it will actually lower educational standards in Australia.

 

The idea of public schools being ‘independent’ is philosophically at odds with what lies at the core of public education.

Public schools are the cornerstone of our education system. They exist in every community in Australia and take all-comers. They are state-owned and funded from the taxes we pay, so they belong to all of us, helping to develop our young as individuals, community members, workers and citizens. Public schools are microcosms of the community at large, with students coming from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds. In this melting pot students are able to learn from and with one another about diversity and difference, and learn tolerance and empathy. In short, public schools promote the common good. Not to recognise this dimension of public schools is to miss the essence of public education.

 

The Independent Public Schools policy will cause real damage to our system of public education, and lower educational standards for the following reasons:-

1. It establishes public schools as businesses. The purpose is to compete to advance the interests of the school regardless of the impact on other schools. The fact is that public schools are not businesses. They are community goods serving public purposes. When they operate as full or quasi-businesses, the most successful are rewarded, and the least successful – invariably those with the least cultural and financial resources – go to the wall. In this way, an IPS agenda confirms and exacerbates inequalities between schools.

A lot of time and money is spent on publicity and marketing at the expense of educational outcomes. This sets up principals as employers, marketers and business managers, rather than as educational leaders.

2. It allows governments to escape their responsibilities by placing greater burdens on schools, often reducing resources while setting performance targets, and then blaming schools if they are not achieved. It also exponentially raises workload as things previously done centrally or by regions are done by Principals and teachers.

3. It destroys the sense of local community engagement with each school, not just the parent community but also where the school uses the community as a learning resource and for community activities. When parents choose schools far away from the local community in which they reside the link between public schools and their local communities is weakened. It encourages parents to simply leave a school when there are perceived issues, rather than stay, work through the issues, and help to build the school.

4. It promotes schools as stand-alone entities rather than as belonging to a system. True public schools aren’t independent, they are networked; and they cooperate to build a quality public system overall, not compete to create a system where there are shining beacons of success sitting alongside schools which are struggling or failing. True public schools are fuelled by a sense of mutual obligation, not self-interest.

 

Not all autonomy is bad.

I support autonomy where it means providing greater flexibility for schools (eg., greater curriculum freedom), but within a set of values which are consistent with a public system which fosters the common good. Flexibility can be used by each school to maximise educational quality in the school, but also to collaborate across schools to make better schools and a better system for all.

 

So where is the evidence that Independent Public Schools will improve standards?

IPS is a policy in search of evidence. To start there are significant issues associated with the research methodology used by those promoting IPS.  It is not sufficient to google a few studies which appear to support a pre-determined position, without evaluating the rigour of that research and the ways in which it is used.

Problems with the research methodology

I make the following points about the evidence that Kevin Donnelly has proffered:

Kevin doesn’t bother to differentiate between different forms of autonomy. He simply draws from and generalises across the autonomy continuum, randomly using examples from fully privatised public school models to quasi-private models. This is problematic, to say the least.

Kevin generalises from research conducted in a range of countries and cultures assuming that if it works in one context it will work in another. This of course is a basic research error. There are real problems in taking research findings from one cultural setting and transferring them to a completely different policy approach in another cultural setting, as though the findings are tablets of undeniable wisdom which are universally applicable.

Most of the researchers that Kevin quotes (eg Hanushek, Woessmann, Hoxby, Fuchs) are not educators – they are Professors of Economics. Invariably the research is statistical where the sole measure of education quality is narrow standardised test results – it tells us nothing about key aspects of education quality such as the nature of relationships, school environment or community engagement, let alone learning areas such as the arts and technology.

The most damning flaw is that Kevin assumes correlation implies causation. He seems to think that wherever there is a ‘good’ educational outcome in the presence of school autonomy, then there is a causal relationship, even if that has not been the focus of the research. This is a grievous research error.

These research flaws are significant issues for public policy claiming to be ‘evidence-based’. However, for the sake of the debate, let’s assume that such research does tell us something about the effects of autonomy that can be applied in Australia.  Even then the evidence doesn’t stack-up.

 

Claims there is international evidence in support of IPS are wrong

When announcing the IPS policy, Minister Pyne claimed that there was international evidence, based on PISA data, which supports greater autonomy for schools. In fact, that research actually shows that:

….school systems that grant more autonomy to schools to define and elaborate their curricula and assessments tend to perform better than systems that don’t grant such autonomy…. In contrast, greater responsibility in managing resources appears to be unrelated to a school system’s overall performance’ (PISA 2009 Results: What Makes Schools Successful? – Resources, Policies and Practices, Vol. 4: 52).

This of course is the complete opposite to what Minister Pyne is proposing. In his policy the focus is on managing budgets and resources. Far from giving more curriculum freedom as the PISA research suggest should happen, schools must conform to state and national system-wide curriculum guidelines.

 

Clearly the PISA research won’t help the IPS case. So what other international evidence is there?

Kevin uses overseas examples of school ‘autonomy’ in places as varied as the United States, UK, and Africa. In the main, this evidence comes from the extreme ‘privatising public education’ end of the autonomy continuum. This includes models like Charter schools in the United States and Free Schools in England and Sweden, where governments have outsourced the operation of public schools to private corporations, individuals, community organisations, and so on. These schools seek to attract students from traditional public schools across large areas of cities, promising miraculous results.

Well, at best there is mixed evidence that these schools improve educational outcomes; and a lot of evidence about a number of troubling long term effects of unbridled autonomy, not the least of which is that it tends to exacerbate educational inequality. I can give you examples from each of the countries Kevin has named, but I will largely confine myself to Charter schools in the US.

 

United States: Charter Schools

Charter schools in the US receive public funding but are bound by an individual school charter and not by government regulations that apply to state schools. Started about 25 years ago, they are run by education management organisations and not-for-profit groups. They have sought to reduce costs by hiring less experienced teachers; paying teachers and staff less, increasing class sizes, and standardising curriculum. Many pride themselves as having a ‘back to basics’ approach, with constant assessment and performance pay for teachers. By 2012, there were approximately 6000 charter schools with over 2 million students in the US.

It is precisely because the charter sector is comprised of thousands of different entities, it is difficult to generalise about them. They range from schools which run like boot camps, to those which boast progressive pedagogies of the sort despised by Kevin.

As usual, the studies rely on standardised test results. In terms of student learning outcomes, the best that can be said about Charter schools is that the results are very mixed.

Most studies conclude that on average the scores on standardised tests are no different if charter schools and public schools enrol the same kinds of children.

In 2009, the performance of Charter Schools in 15 states and the District of Columbia was assessed by researchers at the Centre for Research on Educational Outcomes (Credo). They found that:

..a decent fraction of charter schools, 17%, provide superior education opportunities for their students. Nearly half of the Charter schools nationwide have results that are no different from the local public school options, and over a third, 37%, deliver learning results that are significantly worse than their students would have realised had they remained in traditional public schools.

This report was consistent with the results of five independent government reports completed between 2003 and 2007. It is possible to find studies which show that Charter schools have improved educational outcomes, such as research by Caroline Hoxby in New York, and the most recent CREDO report (2013), but the research methods used by both have come under strong criticism. However, for every piece of research that Kevin cites, I can produce research which shows the opposite. For these reasons it is pointless to cherry pick research to make the case one way or the other, without looking at the rigour of the research. You can’t just google and quote.

 

The adverse effects of Charter schools which have become big business in the US.

But the research is clear about the adverse effects of Charter Schools which have become big business in the US. A number have started up for-profit chains (e.g., KIPP, GULEN, EDISON), franchising education like Kentucky Fried Chicken. This may not worry Kevin, but it truly worries me, not least because the research tells us that in order to turn a profit many Charter schools engage in practices which would not be tolerated in a public education system serving the common good. For example:

In order to attract custom and improve results, many exclude the weakest students, and enrol lower proportions of disability students and English language learners than traditional public schools. One Charter school in Washington DC had an expulsion rate 28 times as high as the local public schools.

Many hire unqualified teachers, and spend more on administration and less on teaching than traditional public schools.

A number have been mixed up in shady real estate deals, and been closed down because of corruption, embezzlement or bankruptcy.

 

A number of research studies demonstrate that Charter schools diminish three of the most powerful characteristics of public education: diversity, community and collaboration.

First, they tend to segregate by race and class.  Charter schools are more racially segregated than traditional public schools in virtually every state and large metropolitan area in the US. In some areas white students are overrepresented in charter schools while in other charter schools Black and Hispanic students have little exposure to white students.

Second, they destroy local community involvement in public schools as children travel across cities to get to their school of choice.

Third, they have severed any sense of a supportive public system. In an era of high stakes testing, Charter Schools compete, not collaborate with, their public school peers.

 

The failure of Free Schools, a similar model, in the United Kingdom.

Three years ago the UK Minister of Education, Michael Gove established hundreds of Free Schools citing the usual claims that giving principals the power to hire and fire staff, would cause standards to rise. In fact, it seems to be going the other way. A recent OFSTED report shows that the failure rate of free schools is running at three times the national average for state-funded schools. Overall about 78% of state schools are rated as good or outstanding by OFSTED, compared with 68% of Free Schools.

 

Tomorrow’s Schools in New Zealand are not a success story.

Kevin cites the highly devolved New Zealand model, Tomorrow’s Schools, as a success. Leading New Zealand researcher Dr Cathy Wylie (the Head of Research at the NZCER) argues that the self-managing schools model has not resulted in any significant gains in student achievement, new approaches to learning, or greater equality of opportunity since it started in 1989. Instead it has had a number of predictable deleterious effects, such as:

  • creating a system of fragmented schools, where self-interest is dominant;
  • creating competition between schools making it harder for those schools at the bottom of the local competition market;
  • making the principal largely a business leader rather than an educational leader managing property and finances, and marketing;
  • maintaining and widening large gaps in student achievement between rich and poor, with no gains in student achievement overall.

Wiley suggests a return to more central and regional support for schools in New Zealand.

 

Lack of Australian evidence that school autonomy improves outcomes.

What of the Australian research evidence? The Grattan Institute whose previous reports Minister Pyne has quoted enthusiastically, has published a research report which explores the claims about school autonomy and concludes that:

On autonomy, Australia and other countries have the wrong strategy. The world’s best systems have varying levels of autonomy. But it is not central to their reforms. …..Autonomous schools in Australia and other countries are no better at implementing these programs than are centralised schools (from Myth of Markets).

The same conclusion has been reached in a number of other Australian studies. The Productivity Commission’s 2013 report reviewed the literature on autonomy and found ‘… mixed impacts from delegating decision-making authority to schools’; and that greater autonomy for schools is associated with an exacerbation of inequalities.

Kevin has given us another angle on the Australian evidence – the claim that private schools perform better in terms of student outcomes than public schools, and that this can be put down to their greater level of ‘autonomy’. Not only has he again attributed causation by simple correlation without the research evidence, but his basic premise is wrong.

Recent Australian studies contest the premise. Chris Ryan for example in a research study published last year in the Economics of Education Review examines the decline in student achievement as measured by PISA results over the last decade, and found that declines in maths and reading literacy were more apparent in private schools than in state schools.

Other studies – such as Luke Connolly’s research using the 2008 and 2010 NAPLAN results of 15,000 year 5 students and 11,000 year 3 students have found that the NAPLAN scores of students from Catholic and other private schools did not statistically differ from those in public schools – after controlling for factors like household income, health indicators and parent education levels.

 

The West Australia’s model of ‘independent public schools’ is not evidence that IPS works.

At first, Minister Pyne claimed IPS had improved student outcomes in Western Australia. Howevere Melbourne University was commissioned last year to conduct an evaluation of the early years of the IPS reform. Their report stated very clearly that up to now ‘… there is little evidence of changes to students outcomes …’ (and indeed they reported many teachers saying that there had been ‘no change in teaching practice’ since their school had become ‘independent’).

Undeterred by this set-back, Minister Pyne recently turned to his latest evidential life-boat – the small increase in the proportion of students attending public schools in Western Australia which he claims points to the success of IPS. But once again the evidence fails him.

The fact is that over the past three years the mining boom in WA has produced an estimated increase in the population of about 1500 per week, with a consequent increase in the school population of about 10,000 per year. It is this increase which has produced the growth in numbers in public schools, not IPS. And the increase has been across the board in schools which are non-IPS and IPS. Grasping at disconnected fragments of evidence to justify already-determined policy is not the way educational policy should be made.

 

Conclusion

Treating public education as though it is a business designed to make profits rather than a public good which benefits the entire community is to betray its essence. The strength of our public schools depends on their collectivity, cohesion, connection to community, collaboration, and diversity. Destroying these characteristics will not raise standards, it must lower them and widen the inequalities which currently exist in our schools and the wider society. The policy of IPS could irreparably harm our public education system which is so central to the development of Australian society and its democracy.

 

alanreid-1 copy  Alan Reid

This is an edited version of the negative case made by Alan Reid in his debate with Kevin Donnelly held at the ACSA Symposium in Canberra on Friday August 1, 2014. Find the full text  HERE

Professor Alan Reid AM is Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of South Australia. His research interests include education policy, curriculum change, social justice and education, and the history and politics of public education. He has published widely in these areas and gives many talks and papers to professional groups, nationally and internationally. Alan presented the Radford Lecture at the AARE annual conference in December 2012.

 

 

OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER FOR EDUCATION

To The Hon Christopher Pyne

Monday 21 July, 2014
CC: Shadow Minster, The Hon Kate Ellis

Dear Minister,

In a recent interview to 2UE on 15th July Kevin Donnelly, Director of the Education Standards Institute, stated:

“If the school community is in favour of it [corporal punishment] then I have not got a problem if it’s done properly”

There is no doubt, given this interview, that Kevin Donnelly has no objection to the use of corporal punishment in schools.

This statement is a reckless and inappropriate endorsement of archaic attitudes and practices in relation to the discipline of children both in schools and society.

In a community where neglect and violence against children has been on the increase, corporal punishment must be seen as a totally inappropriate and ineffective behaviour management strategy for schools.

A National Summit, Behaviour in Australian Schools: Current trends and possibilities, was held in South Australia last week with the clear aim of raising the profile of children and their rights as students in schools.

The Summit brought together significant research on the complexity of behaviour in schools.

This research provides new insights into the ways schools can engage students in their learning and schooling while respecting their dignity, treating them fairly, and allowing and encouraging them to continue their education. It critiqued punitive responses to misbehaviour and offered alternatives.

It is upon this kind of evidence-based research that a senior educational advisor to the government should base his comments.

Harking back to community standards of more than 30 years ago has no relevance to the realities of today or 21st century community expectations.

The educational researchers and other participants involved in the Summit were disconcerted by the comments made by Kevin Donnelly, especially as he is a senior educational advisor to the Federal Education Minister. In this role, the Australian public has a right to expect informed commentary and advice based on sound research.

We call on the government to remove Mr Donnelly from his position as advisor on any matters related to the education of children in Australia.

We call on the government to amend legislation to ensure that the children of Australia are protected from all forms of corporal punishment in schools.

For communication on this matter please phone:
 Dr Anna Sullivan 0402 965 844

Signed:
1. Dr Anna Sullivan
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
2. Professor Bruce Johnson
Adjunct Research Professor
School of Education
University of South Australia
3. Professor Susan Groundwater-Smith
Honorary Professor
Faculty of Education and Social Work
University of Sydney
4. Professor Jill Blackmore
Alfred Deakin Professor
School of Education
Deakin University
5. Professor Jane Kenway
Australian Professorial Fellow – Australian Research Council
Education Faculty
Monash University
6. Professor Parlo Singh
Professor of Education
Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Griffith University
7. Professor Donna Cross
Winthrop Professor
Telethon Kids Institute
The University of Western Australia
8. Professor Emeritus Alan Reid
Professor Emeritus
School of Education
University of South Australia
9. Professor Marie Brennan
Professor
College of Education
Victoria University
10. Professor John Smyth
Professor
Faculty of Education & Arts
Federation University Australia
11. Professor Barry Down
City of Rockingham Chair in Education
School of Education
Murdoch University
12. Professor Bob Lingard
Professorial Research Fellow
School of Education
The University of Queensland
13. Professor Bronwyn Davies
Professorial Fellow
University of Melbourne
14. Professor Michele Simons
Dean of Education
School of Education
University of Western Sydney
15. Professor Marilyn Campbell
Professor
Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology
16. Professor Margaret Somerville
Director Centre for Educational Research
School of Education
University of Western Sydney
17. Professor Marilyn Fleer
Professor
Faculty of Education
Monash University
18. Professor Jo-Anne Reid
Professor of Education
Faculty of Education
Charles Sturt University
19. Professor Martin Mills
Professor
School of Education
The University of Queensland
20. Professor Pat Drake
Dean
College of Education
Victoria University
21. Professor Sue Walker
Professor
Faculty of Education, Early Childhood
Queensland University of Technology
22. Professor Caroline Barratt-Pugh
Director of Centre for Research in Early Childhood
Edith Cowan University
23. Professor Lyn Yates
Professor
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
University of Melbourne
24. Professor Suzanne Carrington
Head of School
School of Cultural and Professional Learning, Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology
25. Professor Kay Whitehead
Deputy Dean
School of Education
Flinders University
26. Professor Rosalyn Shute
Adjunct Professor of Psychology
Flinders University and Federation University Australia
27. Professor Helen Nixon
Adjunct Professor
Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology
28. Professor Stephen Dobson
Interim Dean and Head of School of Education
School of Education
University of South Australia
29. Professor Sandy Schuck
Professor of Education, Director of Research Training, FASS
School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of Technology Sydney
30. Professor Beverly Derewianka
Professorial Fellow
Faculty of Education
University of Wollongong
31. Emeritus Professor Robert Crotty
Emeritus Professor of Religion and Education
School of Education
University of South Australia
32. Associate Professor Robert Hattam
Director Centre of Research in Education
School of Education
University of South Australia
33. Associate Professor Debra Bateman
Deputy Dean – Learning & Teaching
Global Urban and Social Studies
RMIT University
34. Associate Professor Catherine Doherty
Senior Research Fellow
Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology
35. Associate Professor Bill Eckersley
Director of Learning and Teaching
College of Education
Victoria University
36. Associate Professor Leanne Lester
Associate Professor
The University of Western Australia
37. Associate Professor Annette Woods
Associate Professor
School of Early Childhood
Queensland University of Technology
38. Associate Professor Susanne Gannon
Associate Professor
School of Education/ Centre for Educational Research
University of Western Sydney
39. Associate Professor Rosie Le Cornu
Adjunct Associate Professor
School of Education
University of South Australia
40. Associate Professor Kerry Bissaker
Associate Dean (International)
School of Education
Flinders University
41. Associate Professor Dr Leonie Rowan
Associate Professor
School of Education and Professional Studies
Griffith University
42. Associate Professor Beryl Exley
Associate Professor
Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology
43. Associate Professor Helen Askell-Williams
Associate Dean Research, Director Flinders Educational Futures Research Institute
School of Education
Flinders University
44. Associate Professor Tarquam McKenna
Associate Professor of Education
College of Education
Victoria University
45. Associate Professor Judith MacCallum
Associate Professor
School of Education
Murdoch University
46. Associate Professor Gloria Dall’Alba
Associate Professor
The University of Queensland
47. Associate Professor Susan Hill
Adjunct
School of Education
University of South Australia
48. Associate Professor Anne Power
Academic Course Advisor
School of Education
University of Western Sydney
49. Associate Professor Robyn Henderson
Associate Professor
University of Southern Queensland
50. Associate Professor Peter Hudson
Associate Professor
Queensland University of Technology
51. Associate Professor Robbie Collins
Head of Campus
Shoalhaven Campus
University of Wollongong
52. Associate Professor Dr Brian Cambourne A.M.
Principal Fellow
School of Education
University of Wollongong
53. Associate Professor Andrea Reupert
Associate Professor and psychologist
Krongold Centre
Faculty of Education
Monash University
54. Associate Professor Phillip Payne
Associate Professor
Faculty of Education
Monash University
55. Associate Professor Jo Lampert
Associate Professor
Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology
56. Associate Professor Mary Keeffe
Associate Professor Inclusive Education
Faculty of Education
La Trobe University
57. Associate Professor Philip Riley
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
Australian Catholic University
58. Associate Professor Jorge Srabstein
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, MD, DLFAPA, DLFAACAP
School of Medicine
George Washington University, USA
59. Dr Jan Turbill
Honorary Senior Fellow
School of Education
University of Wollongong
60. Dr Katina Zammit
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
University of Western Sydney
61. Dr Janet Dyment
Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Education
University of Tasmania
62. Dr David Zyngier
Senior Lecturer Curriculum and Pedagogy
Faculty of Education
Monash University
63. Dr Noelene Weatherby-Fell
Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Education
University of Wollongong
64. Dr Jennifer Angwin
Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Art and Education
Deakin University
65. Dr Sue Nichols
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
66. Dr Julianne Lynch
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Deakin University
67. Dr Andrea Gallant
Senior Lecturer
Faculty Arts and Education
Deakin University
68. Dr Muriel Wells
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Deakin University
69. Dr Julie White
Senior Research Fellow
The Victoria Institute
Victoria University
70. Dr Barbara Spears
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
71. Dr Victoria Whitington
Associate Head of School: Teaching & Learning
School of Education
University of South Australia
72. Dr Mark Selkrig
Senior lecturer
College of Education
Victoria University
73. Dr Caroline Mansfield
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Murdoch University
74. Dr Nado Aveling
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Murdoch University
75. Dr Annabelle Leve
Lecturer
Arts and Education
Deakin University
76. Dr Natasha Pearce
Senior Research Fellow
Edith Cowan University
77. Dr Kevin Runions
Senior Research Fellow
Telethon Kids Institute
The University of Western Australia
78. Dr Eva Dobozy
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Curtin University
79. Dr Mark Vicars
Senior Lecturer
College of Education
Victoria University
80. Dr Laura Perry
Senior Lecturer
Murdoch University
81. Dr Jo Ailwood
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
The University of Newcastle
82. Dr Dorothy Bottrell
Senior Lecturer, Social Pedagogy & Honorary Senior Lecturer
Victoria University
University of Sydney
83. Dr Anne Cloonan
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Deakin University
84. Dr Martin Andrew
Senior Lecturer, Education/TESOL
College of Education
Victoria University
85. Dr Lyndal O’Gorman
Senior Lecturer
School of Early Childhood, Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology
86. Dr Jorge Knijnik
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
University of Western Sydney
87. Dr Susanne Owen
Academic Developer/Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
Learning and Teaching Unit/School of Education
University of South Australia
88. Dr Elizabeth Hirst
formerly Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Griffith University
89. Dr Sally Knipe
Course Director (Secondary Programs)
School of Education
Charles Sturt University
90. Dr Janean Robinson
Research Associate
School of Education
Murdoch University
91. Dr Neil Hooley
Lecturer
College of Education
Victoria University
92. Dr Jenni Carter
Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
93. Dr Jamie Sisson
Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
94. Dr Ngoc Doan
Research Assistant
School of Education
University of South Australia
95. Dr Judith Peters
Adjunct Lecturer in Education
School of Education
University of South Australia
96. Dr Yarrow Andrew
Lecturer
School of Education
Flinders University
97. Dr Clare McCarty
Lecturer
School of Education
Flinders University
98. Dr Margaret Scrimgeour
Lecturer (adjunct)
School of Education
University of South Australia
99. Dr Jane Hunter
Lecturer
School of Education
University of Western Sydney
100. Dr Robyne Garrett
Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
101. Dr Jo Raphael
Lecturer in Drama Education
Faculty of Arts and Education
Deakin University
102. Dr Kate Johnstone
Lecturer in Education (Pedagogy and Curriculum)
School of Education
Deakin University
103. Dr Catharine Simmons
Research Associate
Centre for Children and Young People
Southern Cross University
104. Dr Bev Rogers
Lecturer/researcher
School of Education
Flinders University
105. Dr Grant Banfield
Lecturer
School of Education
Flinders University
106. Dr Kerry Renwick
Lecturer
College of Education
Victoria University
107. Dr Efrat Eilam
Lecturer
College of Education
Victoria University
108. Dr Ahmad Samarji
Lecturer
College of Education
Victoria University
109. Dr Louise Phillips
Lecturer
The University of Queensland
110. Dr Peter Arnold
Research Associate
School of Education
University of South Australia
111. Dr Tony Daly
Research Associate
School of Education
University of South Australia
112. Dr Garth Stahl
Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
113. Dr David Caldwell
Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
114. Dr Donnah Anderson
Research Associate
Centre for Children and Young People
Southern Cross University
115. Dr Christina Gowlett
Lecturer in Curriculum Studies
School of Education
The University of Queensland
116. Dr Melanie Baak
Research Associate
School of Education
University of South Australia
117. Dr Jana Visnovska
Lecturer in Mathematics Education
The University of Queensland
118. Dr Stewart Riddle
Lecturer
School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
University of Southern Queensland
119. Dr Lisa Davies
Adjunct Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
120. Dr Kimberley McMahon-Coleman
Learning Development Lecturer
University of Wollongong
121. Dr Barbara Garrick
Lecturer
School of Education and Professional Studies
Griffith University
122. Dr Sarah Tartakover
Lecturer
College of Education
Victoria University
123. Dr Sam Schulz
Lecturer
School of Education
Flinders University
124. Dr Rachel Buchanan
Lecturer in Educational Foundations
University of Newcastle
125. Dr Steven Hodge
Lecturer
School of Education and Professional Studies
Griffith University
126. Dr Nicholas Hookway
Sociology lecturer
School of Social Sciences
University of Tasmania
127. Dr Annabelle Leve
Deakin University
128. Dr Michelle Morgan
recent PhD graduate
School of Education
University of Queensland
129. Dr Mirella Wyra
Lecturer
School of Education
Flinders University
130. Dr Paul Unsworth
Tutor
School of Education
University of South Australia
131. Dr Gudrun Colbow
School of Education
The University of Queensland
132. Dr Roslyn (Rose) Carnes
Lecturer
University of Notre Dame
133. Mr Bill Lucas
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
134. Ms Wendy Piltz
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
135. Mr Peter Walker
Lecturer Special Education
School of Education
Flinders University
136. Ms Lisa Langdon
Teacher Children’s Services
College of Education
Victoria University
137. Ms Rose Ashton
Literacy Consultant
South Australia
138. Ms Marie Crotty
Retired Senior Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
139. Ms Anna Rogers
Lecturer Mathematics Education
School of Education
University of South Australia
140. Mrs Donna Carr
Project Leader
Murdoch University
141. Ms Deborah Green
Lecturer
School of Education
University of South Australia
142. Ms Terri Redpath
Lecturer
Deakin University
143. Ms Kerry Bennetto
Professional Experience Officer
School of Education
Deakin University
144. Ms Christine Schulz
Teacher Educator
School of Education
Deakin University
145. Mr Roland Wilson
Associate Lecturer/Academic Advisor
Yunggorendi First Nation Centre for Higher Education and Research
Flinders University
146. Ms Roz Anderson
Manager
Office of Indigenous Academic Support
Charles Darwin University
147. Ms Sue Bennett
Lecturer
School of Education
Deakin University
148. Mr Tony Edwards
Lecturer
College of Education
Victoria University
149. Ms Deb Moulton
Teaching and Learning Consultant
School of Natural and Built Environments
University of South Australia
150. Mr Lawry Mahon
Lecturer
College of Education
Victoria University
151. Ms Mata Kalyvas
Tutor
School of Education
University of South Australia
152. Mr Bruce Underwood
Coordinator Anangu Tertiary Education Program
School of Education
University of South Australia
153. Ms Therese Lovett
Tutor
School of Education
University of South Australia
154. Ms Robyne Lesley
Tutor
School of Education
University of South Australia
155. Ms Rosemary Arnold
former classroom teacher & school principal
156. Ms Lisa Mahoney
Tutor/Teacher
School of Education
University of South Australia
157. Ms Janine Roberts
Learning Designer
The University of Queensland
158. Ms Geraldine Ditchburn
Lecturer
Murdoch University
159. Mr Ryan Spencer
Clinical Teaching Specialist
University of Canberra
160. Ms Sonja Kuzich
Lecturer, Curriculum and Pedagogy
School of Education
Curtin University of Technology
161. Ms Piper Rodd
Academic
Deakin University
162. Mr Jamie Harvey
Lecturer, Middle schooling
School of Education
Flinders university
163. Ms Rebecca Stephenson
Professional Experience Officer
& Primary School Teacher
School of Education
Deakin University
164. Ms Helen Earl
Lecturer
Faculty of Social Sciences, Teacher Education
University of Technology Sydney
165. Ms Kate Hadwen
Head of Senior School &
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
The Peninsula School, VIC
Edith Cowan University
166. Miss Patricia Cardoso
Public Health Lecturer
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
Edith Cowan University
167. Ms Narelle Alderman
Project Advisor
Child Health Promotion Research Centre
Edith Cowan University

POSTSCRIPT

These researchers have also added their names to the list.

168. Professor Roger Slee Director, The Victoria Institute for Education, Diversity and Lifelong Learning, , Victoria University

169. Professor Emeritus Merv Hyde AM PhD, Acting Head of School of Education, Academic , Director: International Projects Group, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast

170. Associate Professor Jenny Jay, Associate Professor for Early Childhood Studies, School of Education, Curtin University

171. Associate Professor Sue Thomas, Associate Professor, School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University

172. Dr Nicole Mockler Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Newcastle

173. Dr Stephen Hay Senior Lecturer, School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University

174. Dr Sharn Donnison Portfolio Leader for Initial Teacher Education, School of Education, University of the Sunshine Coast

175. Dr Lennie Barblett, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Edith Cowan University

176. Dr Kumara Ward, Lecturer, Early Childhood, School of Education, University Of Western Sydney

177. Dr Robyn Johnston, Research Fellow Child Health Promotion Research Centre, School of Exercise and Health Science, Edith Cowan University

178. Ms Tommy Cordin, Senior Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia

179. Mr Kenneth Young, Lecturer, School of Education, University of the Sunshine Coast

180. Ms Jane Merewether, Lecturer Early Childhood Education, School of Education, Curtin University

181. Mr David Hornsby, Literacy Consultant, Author

182. Ms Heather McKee, Research Assistant, Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia

183. Ms Wendy Goff, Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Monash University

184. Dr Lisa McKay-Brown, Lecturer, Special Education, Inclusion and Early Intervention, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne

185.Ms Lisa Burmann, Pedagogical Consultant, Adelaide SA

186. Bruce White, School of Education, UniSA

187. Huong Nguyen, PhD student, School of Education, University of Queensland

188. Professor Margaret Sims, Professor of Early Childhood, University of New England

189. Dr Margaret Kettle, Senior Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology

190. Dr Alison Wrench, Lecturer, School of Education, University of South Australia

191. Mr Jeff Meiners, Lecturer, School of Education, University of South Australia

192. Ms Sally Windsor, Lecturer, Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE), Melbourne University

193. Dr Frank Davies, Head of the School of Education, Tabor Adelaide.

194. Dr Mark Sorrell, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Tabor Adelaide

195. Professor Blaya Catherine, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Education,  Chair of the International Observatory of Violence in Schools, University Nice Sophia Antipolis, France

196. Vee Mignone, teacher, Mount Barker Primary School, Mount Barker, SA

197. Sherridan Emery, PhD Candidate & Teacher Educator, Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania

198. Dr Christine Gardner, University Associate, Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania

199. Joy Murray, Senior Research Fellow, University of Sydney

If you are an educational researcher and would like to add your name to this list please post your name and title in the comments section below.