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Greens urge caution on MySchool changes

Penny Wright 22 Mar 2015

The Australian Greens have warned changes to the MySchool website to be announced today risk distorting education priorities and will not provide a holistic representation of local schools.

Australian Greens spokesperson for  schools Senator Penny Wright said NAPLAN scores didn't represent school achievement and warned new comparative features would create unfair contrasts.

"Under this new plan, you'll be comparing apples with oranges and coming up with bananas," Senator Wright said.

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MySchool hype distorts school priorities

Penny Wright 5 Mar 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright says the emphasis on NAPLAN testing has gone too far, as new MySchool data is released today.

The Australian Greens have previously called for the ranking functions on the MySchool site to be removed.

"There is no doubt MySchool site has introduced a competitive element which is damaging student and teacher wellbeing and distorting our idea of what matters in education," Senator Wright said.

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$180m overspend on SA's private schools for same results

Penny Wright 23 Feb 2015

South Australia's private schools only achieve the same results as comparable public schools, despite spending almost $180 million more a year more on their students.

Analysis by researchers Chris Bonnor and Bernie Shepherd, prepared for Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright, shows almost a quarter of government funding to private schools is in excess of what it costs to educate similar students in public schools.

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Teacher training review incomplete

Penny Wright 13 Feb 2015

The Abbott Government's teacher training review overlooks critical elements in encouraging quality teaching and learning, say the Australian Greens.

Spokesperson for Schools Senator Penny Wright said the review did not look at how to attract the best and brightest into teaching careers.

"University entrance standards and accreditation are pieces of the puzzle, but no review of teacher training can be complete without examining what's needed to attract the top candidates to teaching," she said.

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Greens urge caution on school fingerprint rolls

Penny Wright 7 Feb 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright has urged caution over the use of fingerprinting to record attendance at South Australian schools.

Senator Wright said the East Para Primary School community should have been more widely consulted and urged the State Government to conduct broader research and information campaigns before expanding the system.

"Biometric data is still not well understood and it's very natural parents will have concerns about privacy," she said.

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Youth Connections funding must be reinstated

Penny Wright 1 Dec 2014

I move that the Senate

1.      notes:

a.      the Youth Connections program has assisted hundreds of disengaged young people to reconnect to education, training or employment;

b.      funding to the program has been cut by the Federal Government and will officially end on December 31, 2014;

c.       the government has not allocated any funds to any similar or replacement program;

d.      this will be the first time in 20 years there is no federally-funded program to assist young people to re-engage with pathways to future work and education;

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McSchools on the menu

Penny Wright 24 Oct 2014

The Federal Government could partner with McDonald's under a new corporate schools scheme, Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright has revealed.

Questioning in Senate estimates this week revealed the Education Department was discussing joining up with the fast food giant, and McDonald's has conceded it may participate in the Geelong pilot.

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