It’s the socio-economic inequality stupid…

In the first national assessment of literacy and numeracy (pdf) in Australia, results released Friday 12 September, the results were predictable.

The Northern Territory has highest proportion of indigenous students, in the lowest income bracket in the country, and NT has the lowest results. Whereas the ACT , where the population is uniformly better educated and comfortably off scored the highest overall results.

The stated aim of the tests are to identify schools in need of more funding and assistance to improve their results. Will this funding be additional $ in the education budget? Will it be provided by dismantling the system set up by Howard which rorts school funding in favour of many wealthy private schools? Or will $ be reallocated from high scoring public schools to low scoring public schools?

The new NSW Education Minister Verity Firth says how happy she is with NSW results – results achieved by NSW school teachers. Will the NSW Government stop undermining the staffing system which delivered these results?

And most importantly – what will be done to address the general social inequality underlying the unequal results across the country? It’s not fair to place all the pressure on the education system to change problems created by the economic and political system.


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