Does improved attendance lead to improved achievement? an empirical study of Indigenous education in Australia
Ladwig, James & Luke, Allan (2012) Does improved attendance lead to improved achievement? an empirical study of Indigenous education in Australia. .
Current Australian federal and state government policy initiatives in Aboriginal education and social welfare reform are based on assumptions about the relationship between increased attendance and increased student performance on standardized tests. There are empirical assumptions underlying these policy interventions and their accompanying public debates. Our aim here is to empirically explore the relationships between patterns of student attendance and patterns of student achievement in schools with significant cohorts of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students. Based on an analysis of the publicly available data reported on the Australian government ‘MySchool’ website, we find that reforms and policies around attendance have not and are unlikely to generate patterns of improved achievement. Questions about the rationale and rhetoric of government policy and the need to focus on pedagogy and curriculum are discussed.
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