Lagging school performance needs inquiry

THE Opposition’s education spokesperson Elizabeth Lee is calling on the ACT government to establish an independent inquiry into the underperformance of ACT schools, after a report in August showed Canberra students were falling behind academically. 

Elizabeth Lee

The ANU analysis of NAPLAN data from 2012-16 found the academic performance of Canberra students was falling behind students in comparable schools in literacy and numeracy, across every socioeconomic group.

The researchers said the data analysis showed ACT school students are several months, sometimes years, behind their peers in writing and numeracy.

But, Ms Lee says, this has also been illustrated over the past three years from the Lamb Report and the ACT auditor-general. 

“It’s time for the Labor government to acknowledge the elephant in the room,” she says. 

“The cost of education in Canberra per student is the highest in Australia, and yet performance in ACT schools continues to lag.

“Despite overwhelming evidence of decline, the government’s latest education strategy has failed to recognise underperformance in our schools, and has therefore failed to outline a plan to strengthen academic outcomes.

“There needs to be an independent inquiry into academic underperformance with the intention of developing strategies to improve outcomes.”

In August Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Yvette Berry, reported differently, saying the 2018 NAPLAN online test showed the ACT’s performance remained strong when compared to other states and territories.

School research shows Labor fails our children, says Lee


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