Thursday, 24 March 2016

From the Grattan Report: The Widening Gap

LAn extract from the report pertaining to the gap between rural and metropolitan students. The gap is there, it's real and it's widening. What is being done about it?

Download the full report by copying and pasting this address into your search engine:

The challenges can be illustrated using a real example, by comparing the progress of kids from the bush with kids from the city. Figure 2 shows two charts with identical data comparing the progress of remote and metropolitan students between Year 3 and Year 9. The chart on the left hand side shows the gap in gain scores, the chart on the right hand side shows the gap in time.

In NAPLAN points, the gap between remote students and metro students decreases with time, from 56 NAPLAN points in Year 3 to 38 points in Year 9. Looked at in another way, as shown in the table at the bottom of Figure 2, remote students make larger gains in NAPLAN between Year 3 and Year 9 (+185 points) than metropolitan students (+168 points).

But this should not be misinterpreted to mean that remote students are catching up to metropolitan students in a broader learning sense. Looking at the gap in years and months of learning (right hand side), it is clear that this gap gets wider over time. Remote students are 1 year 3 months behind in Year 5, and this gap grows to 2 years behind by Year 9. They are falling further behind.18 

COAG update
For schools the $4.5bn final two years of the Gonski funding which The Abbott/Turnbull government has withdrawn is deal are at stake at the upcoming COAG meeting – the deal based on a report that found the poorest and most disadvantaged schools and students were falling further and further behind. Given the Grattan Institute’s report this week that found inequality in schools is growing, that need has apparently not changed. Baird announced last week an offer to spread that money over four years rather than two ( refer previous post) but I have lost any faith in the federal government restoring any of the billions of dollars they ripped away from state education.

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