Dare to Lead February 2008 Newsletter
APAPDC's Indigenous education newsletter. Issue 32, February 2008.
SAYING SORRY - AND THEN DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT
As a project dedicated to Reconciliation, Dare to Lead welcomes and strongly supports the Australian Government's decision to apologise to the Stolen Generations. (Anyone seeking facts about the apology - and the explosion of some popular myths about it - should read the February 2008 APAPDC Newsletter with FAQ produced by Reconciliation Australia.
School leaders have consistently shown, through our project and through their own endeavours, that they can be agents of positive change in this country. Dare to Lead is committed to keep working towards improving outcomes for Indigenous students. This is not easy work, but we are approaching the task collegially, strategically and using data as our guide.
THE RIGHT DIRECTION. The data collected so far across the life of the project show that Dare to Lead is succeeding. Approximately 2500 of the Coalition member schools have been active as Dare to Lead members for more than three years. 1500 of this group have been active members for more than four years. These are the schools which are providing meaningful evidence of outcome change as a result of engagement with the project.
Significant positive change is evident from the aggregated data for both cohorts. This improvement is evident in both of the strategically-chosen indicators for Indigenous students in Dare to Lead schools. There has been an average improvement of 4.77 percentage points in Year 5 literacy (reading) and 8.76 percentage points in Year 5 literacy (writing) across all schools, nationally aggregated. There has also been an 8.59 percentage point improvement in Year 12 completion. More information: Interim Report to members - July 2007
All Dare to Lead school leaders are requested to check that they have submitted their 2007 student data to the project's central office. These data form a crucial part of the project's measurement and strategic management.
All Dare to Lead member schools - including those without any Indigenous students - commit to completing this simple data report annually. (Schools obviously vary from year to year with their Indigenous enrolments. Returning a "zero" response, if applicable, is essential for the integrity of Dare to Lead's collated data.)
The appropriate forms for primary and secondary schools can be found online here.
Primary Student Data Request
Secondary Student Data Request
The Dare to Lead team has developed a process to review Aboriginal education outcomes in member schools. The School Review involves the State Coordinator and a member of the local Aboriginal community interviewing Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, parents, staff and community members. The interview questions are developed in consultation with the school principal and his or her Aboriginal education team.
On completion of the Review, the Dare to Lead team leaves the principal with a comprehensive document that includes a summary of responses from all interviewees, a list of commendations and recommendations, and suggestions for professional development implementation through Dare to Lead resources to meet the recommended needs.
These School Reviews have proved to be a highly effective tool in raising the awareness of schools to community issues and concerns, raising staff awareness about Aboriginal history and culture, and improving the school's strategic planning for Aboriginal education. Requests to have your school involved in this process can be lodged with your State Coordinator.
One great example of the School Review process in action was at Great Lakes College in the New South Wales town of Forster. Read the full story here.
WHAT DOES BEING A DARE TO LEAD COALITION MEMBER MEAN FOR 2008?
In joining the Dare to Lead Coalition, school leaders make a professional commitment to improving outcomes for Indigenous students. Here are some suggestions as to how your school might take specific actions towards improving these outcomes, whether your school has Indigenous students enrolled or not, and whether you have previously been an active Coalition member or not. The time to start is now!
SUMMER SCHOOL FOR EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS08) held in Adelaide in January was a great success. Read a brief about the program here.
The winners of the 2007 Excellence in Leadership in Indigenous Education Awards will be announced in mid-March. Stay tuned!
We are keen to hear about schools which have in place relatively new or long term relationships with 'sister schools' involving student exchanges and joint project activity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with some brief details and our Communication Officer will be in touch to do an interview and write up for story for our website!
E:email@example.com Ph: 08 8394 2122
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Copyright 2011 Principals Australia Institute. The Dare to Lead Newsletter can be freely distributed in its entirety or reproduced in part for another publication with written permission from Principals Australia Institute.