So Andrew Penfold shows his true colours and why I am not surprised.

According to The Australian, Andrew Penfold has broken ranks with all the other members of the PM’s Indigenous Council to support the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. So what can we make of this?  Is Penfold brave – standing up to un-thought-through conventional wisdom? Or is he ignorant and dangerously misinformed? My take…

Is opting out of testing just selfish individualism?

In a recent article about American culture and the opt out society Alan Greenblatt described the growing and successful movement to encourage parents to refuse to allow their child to participate in national standardised testing as selfish individualism.  It might be driven by a parents individual interest, he argues, but it is selfish and against…

Submission to the NT Indigenous Education Review

I am disappointed to find that even though 2 working weeks have elapsed since the Submissions to the NT Education Review were due, the NT Government has not made them public. But sadly I am not at all surprised. The NT Government, the Government that we trust and fund to overcome extreme (i.e. 3rd world…

Northern Territory Review of Indigenous Education: What Bruce Wilson missed, Part one

I have just finished reading Bruce Wilson’s Draft Independent Review of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory and I am impressed and dismayed. I am impressed because this is the first time I have seen a report on the NT Department of Education (DoE) website that notes the systemic failure of ‘bush schools’ in the…

NT’s Adam Giles does a ‘Pyne’ on Gonski

We had fantastic news today.  Gonski is saved.  This is worth celebrating but in doing so, let us also remember that because of the different arrangements for the ‘Hold out’ states (Qld, WA and NT)  - the states where most of our remote Indigenous citizens reside – we do not have a national needs based…

Pyne’s threats on Gonski are shameful, but what the NT is doing is worse – much worse.

Trigger Alert:  I am saying things in this article that some people may not want to hear and that many will misconstrue as having a racist intent.  I have the greatest of respect for the many remote NT Indigenous leaders who struggle to be heard: about inadequate resourcing and servicing of their communities; about the…

The appalling funding cuts to our most disadvantaged schools/students in Australia requires a strong and broadly based condemnation

Anyone who has read anything about schooling in Australia would have some awareness that the education outcomes for Indigenous communities in remote and very remote Northern Territory are not only appalling by Australian standards but among the worst in the world. What is happening now in the NT in terms of further funding cuts to…

More Autonomy for NT on schools funding will be the death knell for ‘closing the gap’

I know this is a waste of my breath, but I am begging Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott to visit remote schools in the NT and schools in Darwin with a checklist in hand.  The checklist should include: state of the buildings, state of the grounds, state of the playground, sports facilities water bubblers, pathways,…

Unpicking the student attendance/learning relationship in remote Indigenous schools

An ABC News report today sparked my interest with the headline “Study finds no relationship between attendance and results at remote Indigenous schools.” This interim finding comes out of an important five-year study, The Remote Education Systems Project that is looking at how education can best meet the needs of remote communities. Specifically researchers have…