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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 4708..


I am pleased to be able to move this motion today. As members are aware, I have a deep and abiding interest in education in the ACT. If you are not aware, the minister is often heard to remind you. The Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority, ACARA, recently released the results of the 2011 NAPLAN testing. As members are probably aware, the tests were completed on all Australian year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students during May, providing us with information about how education programs are working and which areas need to be prioritised for improvement.

This has been a successful commonwealth initiative that is improving the educational outcomes for students across the country. I am pleased to report that ACT students have, once again, performed exceptionally well in the latest testing. ACT mean score results for all year groups in reading were the highest in Australia and significantly higher than the national mean, a similar level of attainment to results in 2008 and 2010.

I think that bears repeating, Mr Assistant Speaker. In reading we were the highest in Australia, significantly higher than the national mean, which is a similar level of attainment to results in 2008 and 2010. Across all year levels the ACT had a greater percentage of students achieving in the top performance bands, compared with achievement in other jurisdictions. Between 94 and 97 per cent of students achieved at or above the national minimum standard. Of particular note, the results of year 7 and 9 ACT students place them on an average 12 months ahead of students at the same year level nationally.

This speaks volumes for an education system that is delivering for our students. The results were no different in grammar and punctuation. ACT students continue to achieve excellent results in grammar and punctuation across all year levels, ranking highest or equal highest in Australia on mean score. Between 91 and 95 per cent of students achieved at or above the national minimum standard.

Mr Assistant Speaker, pleasingly, spelling results improved in year 3, 5 and 7 for ACT students. In all years, but for year 5, we ranked equal highest in the country, with significant improvement for year 5 students on previous years. Between 91 and 95 per cent of our students achieved at or above the national minimum standards.

In numeracy, the ACT shared the highest mean score with Victoria and New South Wales across all year levels, with 95 to 97 per cent of students achieving at or above the national minimum standard. In writing, ACT students in year 5, 7 and 9 had the highest results in the country alongside either Victoria or New South Wales. The nature of the writing tasks has changed since the last testing, making it impossible unfortunately to gauge improvement. ACARA has informed the ACT Directorate of Education and Training that the task will be comparable going forward, making it possible to report on growth in writing in future years.

In most categories, the ACT has ranked first or equal first with New South Wales and/or Victoria. This Assembly should be very proud of the achievements of our students and our education system. But while ACT students have excelled in the 2011 NAPLAN testing, there is room for improvement. Year 3 students' score in writing


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