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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 4152..

Education—Universities Admission Index

(Question No 1763)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Education and Training, upon notice, on 14 November 2007:

(1) Further to the reply to question on notice No 1662 in relation to the process used by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS) to calculate ACT Universities Admission Indices (UAIs) as set out in the current 2007 edition of the BSSS Policy and Procedures Manual (the Manual), given that in part (7) of the answer the Minister

confirmed that notional aggregates are now determined for students who do not complete Year 12 can he (a) explain why the 2007 edition of the Manual does not mention the changes based on the use of Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results for the first time, (b) confirm that the use of PISA results in the UAI calculation process is explained in an addendum and (c) make the 2007 Manual addenda publicly available noting the password protection currently set via <>;

(2) Did the NSW Scaling Committee Table used to determine ACT UAIs need to be modified as a result of the use of PISA results in the 2006 UAI calculation process; if so, how and on what publicly available document is the rationale for such changes documented;

(3) Did the report by Dr Daley which led to the changes acknowledged in the reply to question on notice No 1662 part (7)(a) state that up until 1976, ACT school students seeking tertiary admission took the NSW HSC examination, and so gained tertiary admission qualifications on the same academic footing as their NSW contemporaries and in terms of academic performances (i.e. educational measurements), the distribution of HSC aggregate scores of the ACT students was effectively the same as the distribution of their NSW contemporaries [these observations are due to Morgan for 1975 data, and Daley's analysis of 1976 HSC results supplied by Mitchell] and that in other words, the selection mechanism by which students sought a tertiary admission credential in NSW and the ACT, produced across NSW on the one hand and within the ACT on the other, two candidatures of approximately the same spread of academic ability, notwithstanding the higher proportion of the age cohort (about 45%) in the ACT compared with about 30% in NSW;

(4) Noting the quote from Dr Daley's report as above - especially the 45% and 30% figures in the last sentence - and the Minister's answer to Estimates Question E07/160 and the 1978 report by Douglas Morgan which you acknowledged in your response to E07/160 (especially the 58% and 36% figures therein), wasn't it the case in 1975 and 1976 that (a) about 30% of the ACT age cohort achieved HSC aggregates reached by only 20% of the NSW age cohort, and, in view of this ratio of 30 to 20 or 1.5 to 1.0 or so and (b) the distribution of HSC aggregate scores of ACT students was actually significantly superior to that of their NSW contemporaries;

(5) Will the Minister make Dr Daley's report publicly available via the Department of Education and Training (DET) or BSSS website given that changes to the UAI calculation system have followed from this report;

(6) Does this 1.5 to 1.0 ratio identified in part (4) mean, for tertiary entrance score calculation purposes, that it has never been sound or equitable at any time since the mid 1970s to assume that the ability of ACT senior secondary students is equal to that of their counterparts in NSW;

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