Further discussion of My School
The Australian Government Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, has discussed the features of the new 'My School 2.0' website at media conference this week. See transcript 9 March 2011. See also article in the Sydney Morning Herald 8 March 2011.
The new Government now says it will not grant any increase above 2.5 per cent unless it is offset by productivity gains.
The Victorian Government has advised that it will not grant teachers a pay rise over 2.5 per cent, unless matched by productivity gains. See article 9 March and editorial 10 March in The Age, article in the Herald Sun 8 March, report on ABC News 9 March and statement by the AEU also 9 March 2011.
US teachers continue campaign to defend tenure, collective bargaining
In Wisconsin and some other states in the USA, public school teachers and other public sector workers continue to resist state government decisions that encroach on their tenure and collective bargaining rights. See report on Reuters 10 March 2011 and recent statements of the Wisconsin Education Association Council.
Victorian Government to rebuild playgrounds
The Victorian Government will provide up to $5 million to rebuild and restore school play areas and car parks affected by Building the Education Revolution (BER) construction works at Victorian government schools. See Government statement 9 March 2011.
SA principals query teacher return plan
Jim Davies, the President of the South Australian Secondary Principals Association (SASPA), has called for a change in the incentives used to attract teachers to rural placements. Teachers returning from rural positions are currently guaranteed an urban placement, which the SASPA considers an impediment to efficient and merit-based hiring practices. The SASPA calls instead for incentives based on salary and other personal benefits. See article in The Advertiser 8 March 2011.
New history resource in South Australia
Bound for South Australia 1836 is an interactive platform allowing students to engage with South Australian history. This website provides an environment for students to engage with primary and secondary historical sources and develop historical skills and understandings.
First Steps reading program neglects phonics: WA academic
A senior lecturer in education at Edith Cowan University, Lorraine Hammond, has challenged the value of the First Steps reading program, arguing that it does not give sufficient emphasis to phonics instruction. See article in the West Australian 8 March 2011.
School terms Tas
Tasmania’s Minister for Education and Skills, Lin Thorp, has announced a consultation process to explore the merits of a four-term school year. A report is expected to be presented to the Minister by the end of May 2011. See article in The Mercury 1 March 2011.
New education department head in Tasmania
Colin Pettit has been appointed as the new Secretary of the Tasmanian Department of Education. See article in The Mercury 8 March 2011.