In a few words, the story so far. The first Gonski review proposed “needs-based, sector-blind” schools funding. The schools doing the hardest educational yards would get extra resources so they could lift academic performance and so reduce inequality. National and international test results plus the MySchool website would make them accountable.
But were they capable? Would all that extra money disappear in the black hole of schooling? The questions were asked of the first Gonski’s sponsor, Julia Gillard, who came up with the risible idea that every school would have to submit a performance plan for approval. When the Coalition, via education minister Simon Birmingham, abruptly switched from opposing Gonski to embracing it, the are-we-wasting-all-that-money question became Mr Birmingham’s to answer. His response was to recall David Gonski and ask him to “examine the evidence and make recommendations on the most effective teaching and learning strategies.”
Gonski and his colleagues set to work in August 2017 and sent their report to the minister in late March. It was released to the public at the beginning of this week.
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