‘Selection by mortgage’ causing unequal school outcomes

Children across the country sat down for NAPLAN tests this week, with the results helping put school resourcing where it will do the most good. However, analysis of NAPLAN results and local housing prices shows the worrying trend of inequality and fragmentation remains unaffected.

Australia’s educational system is failing to improve and is entrenching inequality, argues a report released by the Mitchell Institute.

In the decade between 2003 and 2013, National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results have shown “some modest gains that demonstrate the potential for improvement”, though overall “Australia has gone backwards”, argues The Shared Work of Learning: Lifting educational achievement through collaboration

While education systems in other countries “have made real progress during the same period … in Australia policy stagnation is combining with growing economic inequality to magnify existing variations in education opportunity and act as a brake on overall achievement.”

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that year 12 attainment among young people (20-24 years) rose from 70% to 75% between 2001 and 2009, “however, it has not risen among those who are most disadvantaged”, notes the report.

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