A new study has found that there is a vast gap between rich and poor in the opportunity to learn rigorous mathematics in Australia’s schools. Unequal access to the maths curriculum in Australia is amongst the highest in the OECD. The study also found that unequal access to the maths curriculum is a major factor behind the large achievement gap in mathematics between rich and poor. Continue reading “Unequal Access to Curriculum is Widening Achievement Gaps in Schools”
Social segregation in Australian schools is increasing according to a research paper published last month. It says that schools are becoming more segregated in terms of both class and ethnicity and it has serious implications equity in education and for multiculturalism and social cohesion.Continue reading “Growing Social Segregation in Australia’s Schools”
New OECD data shows that Australia has made spectacular progress in the last 30 years in reducing the percentage of adults who do not complete secondary school. It shows that the percentage of low educated adults dropped by nearly three times, from 39 to 14 per cent.
However, the new data also shows that further improvement is necessary. A significant percentage of young people leave school before completing Year 12 and they are twice as likely to have low numeracy scores and to be unemployed as those who complete secondary school. Continue reading “Completing Secondary School Increases Employment Prospects”
A large proportion of Australian students do not complete Year 12. According to the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2015, 26 per cent of the potential Year 12 population did not complete Year 12 in 2013 and 32 per cent of low SES students did not complete the final year of school. New research shows that not completing Year 12 is a deadly decision.
The research, published last week in the scientific and medical journal PLOS ONE, found that completion of high school leads to lower levels of mortality and that not completing school may be as deadly as smoking.Continue reading “Dropping Out of School is Deadly”
A new study published in the latest issue of the British Educational Research Journal shows that the socio-economic composition of schools has a large effect on student achievement. A student attending a school with low average socio-economic status (SES) tends to have lower school outcomes than a student from a similar family background attending a school with high average student SES.Continue reading “Study Finds that School SES has a Strong Impact on Student Achievement”
A report by the Victoria Institute for Strategic Economic Studies shows that first year students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds at Victoria University achieve better results than high SES students. It also found that students from lower performing schools seem to perform better than their peers from elite schools.Continue reading “Low SES Students Do Better Than High SES Students at University”
Two recently-published studies show that inequality in education is a significant factor affecting economic growth. Both studies find that income inequality limits economic growth because low income families tend to have low education outcomes. The studies recommend policies to improve the education outcomes of disadvantaged students. Improving the education outcomes of these children would increase workforce skills, productivity, incomes and economic output.
One study was published by the OECD last December. The other study was published in February by the European Expert Network on Economics of Education (EENEE), a think tank sponsored by the European Commission. It was done by economists from the University of Sydney and the London School of Economics.
The studies have important implications for education policy in Australia. Although income and education inequality in Australia is less than in many OECD countries they are significant. In particular, a large proportion of children from low socio-economic backgrounds do not achieve an adequate education and there are large gaps in achievement between rich and poor. Increasing the education outcomes of these children would not only increase their life chances but would also increase economic growth.Continue reading “Improving Equity in Education Increases Economic Growth”
The Gonski funding plan is directed at improving equity in education by lifting school results for disadvantaged students. Several studies published in the last few months show that there are significant benefits associated with greater equity in education. Continue reading “Improving Equity in Education Boosts Economic Growth and Health”
A brief published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in the United States highlights the extent of poverty amongst school children and its effects on their learning and the school resources available to them.
The brief shows that over 20 per cent of children in the US live in poverty, but there are huge differences between different social groups. Nearly 40 per cent of Black children, 37 per cent of American Indian children and 33 per cent of Hispanic children live in poverty compared to 14 per cent of white children.
Living in poverty has significant impacts on learning. Fewer than half of children living in poverty are school ready at age 5, meaning they lack early math and reading skills, exhibit learning and behaviour problems, and have poor overall physical health. Continue reading “Poverty and Education”
A review of academic studies on the effects of education on income inequality shows that education is effective in reducing inequality. The study found that education reduces inequality by increasing the income share of the bottom earners and reducing the share of top earners. It appears to have a greater effect on increasing the income share of the poor than on reducing the income share of the very rich.
The study shows that the years of schooling and educational attainment at secondary school appear to be the main education factors reducing inequality. Continue reading “More Education Reduces Income Inequality”