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Who wins the game? Changing accountability and funding of Australian schools Bruce Gurd University of South Australia Discussant: Cameron Graham Schulich.

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Presentation on theme: "Who wins the game? Changing accountability and funding of Australian schools Bruce Gurd University of South Australia Discussant: Cameron Graham Schulich."— Presentation transcript:

1 Who wins the game? Changing accountability and funding of Australian schools Bruce Gurd University of South Australia Discussant: Cameron Graham Schulich School of Business

2 Overview of the Paper  Introduction  Understanding the theory of the game  Exploring the game of funding and accountability of schools  Discussion  Conclusions 2

3 Introduction  Gonski Committee ( )  National review of education funding  Recommended increase of $6 billion per annum  Accountability  “School” as unit of accountability Education outcomes Fiscal accountability  Drive for data & measurement 3

4 Theory of the Game  Elias’s game theory  Processual sociology  Figurations Interdependent networks of people Mutually oriented Historically produced & reproduced  Unintentional interdependencies produce unintended consequences  Power  Complexity 4

5 Exploring the Game: Funding and accountability of schools Actors  Non-governmental schools  Catholic (over 200 years ago)  Lutheran  Independent Schools Australia  State governments  Government schools (since 1872)  Curriculum and regulatory standards  Federal government  Funding  Parents  Government vs. non-government  Australian education union  Subsumes teachers 5

6 Exploring the game … Overview  Education responsibility is at state level  Funding is at federal level  Gonski review not allowed to recommend cuts 6

7 Exploring the game … Chronology  Rhetoric of “accountability”  Schools Assistance Act (2004)  Rudd government ( )  National curriculum & skills testing  Investments in IT  Accountability requirements  Gonski commission Heavily influenced by wealthy stakeholders Funding formula: disability, indigeneity, etc.  Liberal/National government (2013)  Tried to dismiss Gonski report, but had to back down 7

8 Exploring the game … Mechanisms  13 KPIs  Professional engagement of teachers  Student outcomes Results Retention Post-school destinations  Satisfaction of stakeholders  “Australian Schools Agenda”  Funding contingencies Flying national flag Singing national anthem Clear student reports to parents 8

9 Exploring the game … MySchool Website  Set up by Labor government  Allowed comparison of school performances  Showed resources were not sole success factor  Reaction  Teachers & academics Overemphasis on basic skills  Parents Good performance feedback Shows desirable schools  Non-gov’t funding sources still not transparent 9

10 Exploring the game … Shift in Focus  By 2012  Many overlapping programs to improve schools  Focus on performance, not finance  In 2012  Collapse of 3 non-gov’t schools in Victoria  Australian School Performance Institute “Data-driven accountability”  In 2013  Liberal gov’t to give principals autonomy  Resistance from state Liberal governments 10

11 Discussion  Unique situation  Federal funding (unlike Canada)  Gov’t funding of church schools (unlike US)  Federal government  Power to press for conformance  Can by-pass states and go directly to schools  Constraints Non-gov’t school parents Gov’t school parents and unions International education comparison processes  Relatively high cooperation between groups 11

12 Conclusions  Situation  Gradual ratcheting up of accountability  Increased transparency  Actors  Teachers and unions exert influence  Parents not highly mobilized  Non-gov’t schools Socialization into a particular class or peer group Specific religious or other values  Adds to public sector literature  Resource provision and resistance (Dopson 2005) 12

13 Discussant Comments Overall Assessment  Important topic  Clear event (Gonski commission)  Potential to examine accountability  Next step: detailed data! 13

14 Discussant Comments Suggestions 1  Engage with literature  Much written about public sector accountability  Figure out what this can contribute  Provide a clear story line  Focus on main events  Provide a clear chronology  Look at “how”  Accounting reports  Measurements  Specific funding contingencies 14

15 Discussant Comments Suggestions 2  Need details  Government reports  Gonski commission  Union statements  MySchool website How parents use data  Analysis  Draw more heavily on theory 15


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