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:http://grattan.edu.au/report/widening-gaps/
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