Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Money wasted on Vic iliterasy and innumberasy

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-02-04

The Victorian Auditor General’s report on Literacy and Numeracy Achievement (2009-02-04) is out, showing that despite squillions, nothing much has been achieved, regardless of Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) claims and propaganda.

I’ve summarized the key points over the fold: bolding is mine and italics are my additions.

  • Expenditure: A$1.2 billion over 6 years
  • Auditor Assessment: Over the 10–year period to 2007, DEECD’s efforts have not resulted in a marked improvement in average literacy and numeracy achievement across age groups.
  • DEECD claim: "DEECD expected improvements in literacy and numeracy achievements resulting from its actions since 2003 would start to emerge by 2008." DEECD considers the NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) results bear out its expectations." (The Auditor-General obviously things this is bull***t!)
  • The only real sign of improvement: "The most substantial improvement was in the ability of Prep to Year 2 students to recognise written words although there is not data to confirm whether word comprehension also improved", (a bit like being able to say the word "poison" on a bottle while not knowing that you shouldn’t drink it).
  • …And later years?: (e.g. Year 10) "Students generally performed less well in numeracy than in literacy, with average student performance often further below the expected level, and with fewer improving trends apparent"
  • Recommendations:
    • Strategies should be "thoroughly reassessed" (because they aren’t working)
    • "Rigorously supervise the purposeful use of the resources allocated for this critical area of education", (governance is sh*t, and 1.2 billion has been flushed down the toilet).
    • "Greatest improvements will come from systematic and sustained intervention in the early years", (and I’d ask why not go back to starting school when kids are 4, before plastic minds become ossified)
    • Better followup strategies for kids that fall behind.

My summary:

  • The government didn’t have a clue what it should do.
  • It threw away $1.2 billion so it appeared to be doing something significant.
  • DEECD (and no doubt Joh Brumby) are still in denial
  • NAPLAN is National, so Rudd better do something effective, and soon

I suppose it can’t be too long before there is a government advertising campaign listing the $1.2 billion spent as an "achievement"

See Also/Notes:


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