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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 5 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 1834..


spelling component and (xi) third, behind Victoria and South Australia, in the year 9 writing component, (b) in terms of best estimated percentages of student with NAPLAN results at or above national minimum standards, the ACT ranked (i) third, behind Victoria and NSW, in the year 3 reading component, (ii) third, behind NSW and Tasmania, in the year 3 writing component, (iii) third, behind NSW and Victoria, in the year 3 spelling component, (iv) third, behind Victoria and NSW, in the year 3 grammar and punctuation component, (v) fourth, behind NSW, Tasmania and Victoria, in the year 3 numeracy component, (vi) second, behind NSW, in the year 5 writing component, (vii) third, behind NSW and Victoria, in the year 5 spelling component, (viii) second, behind Victoria, in the year 7 writing component and (ix) second, behind Victoria, in the year 9 writing component.

(4) Does the Minister acknowledge that the ACT's significantly higher socio-economic status, than that of Victoria and NSW overall, leads to the expectation that ACT students would rank higher on average in national literacy and numeracy assessments;

(5) How does the Minister reconcile his comments that the ACT continues to have the best education system in Australia given the ACT systems' apparent underperformance relative to the Victorian and NSW systems.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) With the introduction of national literacy and numeracy testing through the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), there are now improved data sets to compare performance across jurisdictions.

(2) Yes.

(3) (a) By taking into account confidence intervals, the ACT had the highest or the equal highest mean scores across reading and numeracy for years 3, 5, 7 and 9. The ACT also had the highest or the equal highest mean scores across grammar and punctuation for years 5, 7 and 9; spelling years 7 and 9; and writing year 3.

(b) By taking into account confidence intervals, the ACT had the highest or the equal highest percent of students at or above the national minimum standard in Australia across reading, numeracy, writing and grammar and punctuation for years 3, 5, 7 and 9. The ACT also had the highest or the equal highest percent of students at or above the national minimum standard in spelling for years 7 and 9.

(4) Overall socio-economic status is only one of a number of possible influences on student performance. Other factors affecting educational performance include teacher quality, class sizes and learning environment.

(5) The strong performance of ACT students is demonstrated by results in NAPLAN, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the National Assessment Program - Information and Communication Technology (NAP-ICT) and the National Assessment Program - Civics and Citizenship (NAP-CC):

NAPLAN

    • ACT students achieved the highest or equal highest mean scores across reading and numeracy for years 3, 5, 7 and 9; grammar and punctuation for years 5, 7 and 9; spelling years 7 and 9; and writing year 3
    • ACT had the highest percentage of students in the top two bands compared to other states for reading at year 3, 5, 7 and 9; in grammar and punctuation at years 5, 7 and 9; and numeracy at year 9


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