Educational inequality in Tasmania: evidence and explanations
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In this article, we map the extent of educational inequality within Tasmania, and between Tasmania and the rest of Australia, using National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and senior secondary attainment data. This analysis yields some surprising findings, showing the success of Tasmanian primary and high schools and that Tasmanian educational inequality is most strongly expressed at the senior secondary level. We conclude that using such publicly available data to identify differential achievement within and between jurisdictions would strengthen public policy and practitioner interventions aimed at achieving more equal educational outcomes for students in all schools. Our findings also have implications for research directions in this field, suggesting that by analysis of NAPLAN and My School data across individual schools and jurisdictions academic researchers could assist practitioners gain a deeper understanding of inequalities reproduced by the systems they are working within, while finding examples of schools and systems which show a greater level of success in ameliorating disadvantage.
KeywordsInequality Senior secondary attainment NAPLAN Tasmanian education
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