In June 2009 MCEETYA (now MCEECDYA) approved the consolidation of Curriculum Corporation and education.au, which is expected to occur by June 2010. The new organisation will remain as a not-for-profit company owned by Ministers with a brief to support national priorities and initiatives. See further information on the Curriculum Corporation website.
The Australian Government is funding the Improving Mathematics Education in Schools Project, which is run by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) in collaboration with business, industry and teacher professional associations. The project supports the teaching of mathematics in targeted low socioeconomic schools and raises the awareness of maths-related career opportunities. Part of the funding will be used to extend the successful BlueScope Steel/AMSI Illawarra Outreach Program model which links schools, local business and industry with other schools in low socioeconomic regions. The project will also develop innovative school mathematics resources to support the implementation of the new national mathematics curriculum. See media statement from Australian Government Minister for Education Julia Gillard 13 October 2009.
The Australian Government Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has announced that 141 primary and secondary schools across Australia will receive $1.8 million in grants under Round One of the Becoming Asia Literate: Grants to Schools outreach program, a key element of the Government's National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP). All Australian governments have committed to the NALSSP and an aspirational target that at least 12 per cent of students complete Year 12 with a fluency in one of the target Asian languages at a level sufficient for engaging in trade and commerce in Asia and/or university study, by 2020. Education Ministers have also agreed to include languages in the second phase of the new national curriculum development, together with the arts and geography. Round Two of the Becoming Asia Literate: Grants to Schools program will open in 2010. See Minister's media statement 14 October 2009.
The Development Marketplace (DM) is a competitive grant program created by the World Bank. This year's global competition focuses on climate adaptation. A total of 100 social entrepreneurs and development practitioners from 47 countries will present climate adaptation projects. Visit the DM website on 10–13 November 2009 for live coverage of the event, interactive blogging and interviews with finalists.
The website of US periodical Education Week is hosting a discussion between leading figures in school education on the country's key No Child Left Behind law. See latest contribution by Professor Diane Ravitch, which includes links to earlier entries on the topic.
The Grattan Institute has appointed Dr Ben Jensen as Program Director, Schools Education. Dr Jensen was previously based at the OECD's Directorate for Education, responsible for work on methods for measuring educational outcomes in schools. See Grattan Institute media release 17 September 2009. See also article in The Australian 13 October 2009, citing a call from Dr Jensen for the Australian Government to use the NAPLAN tests to measure the progress made by students and schools from year to year, rather than compare schools in groups of their peers.
Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike has announced the release of a new guide to support those working with children at risk of homelessness. The guide provides information and advice about dealing with issues around homelessness, and highlights a range of organisations schools can work with. See Victorian Government media release 15 October 2009.
An editorial in The Sydney Morning Herald 12 October 2009 queries the New South Wales Government decision to raise the school leaving age to 17. A Bill has also been introduced into the Northern Territory Parliament, which would require young people up to 17 to engage in schooling, training or employment. See media release from Paul Henderson, Northern Territory Minister for Education and Training, 15 October 2009.
Graeden Horsell, a former member of the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia, has called for unmotivated and underperforming teachers to be offered financial incentives to take early retirement. See article in The Advertiser (AdelaideNow) 13 October 2009.
New South Wales Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth has announced that $10 million will be spent this year to install security fences at a further 42 NSW public schools. See Minister's media statement 12 October 2009.
In the USA, abstinence-only sex education programs have been widely criticised but remain influential. See article in The Huffington Post, 2 October 2009, which links to a range of studies on the issue.