A8 Strategic indicators
Strategic indicators provide information on progress towards the achievement of strategic outcomes. The two strategic indicators for the Department for 2009-10 were:
- Student performance in national and international assessment programs
- Year 12 or equivalent completion rates for 19 year-olds in the ACT.
Strategic Indicator 1 Student performance
An important objective of the Department is to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes of all students. To monitor student attainment of literacy and numeracy skills the Department conducts standardised assessments at regular intervals in conjunction with the National Assessment Program, as endorsed by the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs.
National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
In 2009, ACT students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participated in the annual NAPLAN. Overall performance of ACT students indicated better outcomes than other Australian students in reading, writing and numeracy across the four year levels (Figure A8.1). In the reading domain, the ACT excelled with results being the highest in the country for all year levels, significantly ahead of the Australian mean.
Figure A8.1: Mean scale scores in reading, writing and numeracy by year level, ACT and Australia, NAPLAN 2009
Source: Ministerial Council on Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs 2009, National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy; Achievement in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy 2009
Using the mean score results to analyse student outcomes in the 2009 NAPLAN tests indicate that:
- Mean scores in the ACT were among the highest in the country and within the three highest performing jurisdictions along with New South Wales and Victoria for all assessment domains and year levels.
- The ACT’s strengths are evident in reading, with excellent results also achieved in numeracy particularly in the later years of schooling. Mean score analysis indicates a weaker comparative performance in the domain of writing.
- In numeracy, the ACT was the highest performing jurisdiction in years 7 and 9, and well above the Australian mean in years 3 and 5.
Results for ACT students in 2009 were consistent with those of 2008, with the exception of year 3 reading and year 5 numeracy which showed significant improvement.
While comparison of results obtained from NAPLAN testing in 2008 and 2009 represent two different student cohorts, the results (Figure A8.2) show that across the years ACT students are continuing to achieve to high standards nationally.
Figure A8.2: Mean scale scores in reading, writing and numeracy by year level, ACT NAPLAN 2008 and 2009
Source: Ministerial Council on Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs 2008 and 2009, National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy; Achievement in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy 2008 and 2009
NAP – Information and Communications Technology Literacy (ICTL)
Information and communications technologies (ICT) are an integral part of the information age. It is important for students to learn and gain competence in ICT to be productive workers in information economies.
The NAP–ICTL 2008 is the latest cycle of the national assessment program testing the ICT competence of year 6 and 10 students. The latest results published in April 2010 indicated that ACT students achieved the highest mean scale scores for years 6 and 10 (Figure A8.3). ACT students improved their mean scale scores from 2005 to 2008 by the highest margin across all states and territories and Australia as a whole.
Figure A8.3: Mean scale scores in ICT literacy for years 6 and 10 students by states and territories, 2005 and 2008
Source: Ministerial Council on Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs 2010, National Assessment Program – ICT Literacy Years 6 and 10 Report 2008
Along with national testing programs, Australia participates in three international assessment programs:
- Programme on International Student Assessment (PISA)
- Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study ( TIMSS)
- Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).
Last tested in 2006, PISA assesses the performance of 15 year-olds in scientific literacy, mathematical literacy and reading literacy, and was reported in the Department’s 2007-08 Annual Report. Conducted every three years, ACT students participated in PISA testing in August 2009. Results will be available in the next reporting period.
TIMSS assessment of years 4 and 8 students takes place every four years; the next testing will take place towards the end of 2010.
Concurrently, the first cycle of PIRLS testing in Australia and the ACT will be conducted only for year 4 students. PIRLS is an international study of reading, focusing on the development of students from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’.
Results from the latest cycles of these international assessments will be provided in the next reporting period.
Strategic indicator 2: Year 12 or equivalent attainment rate
Year 12 or equivalent secondary education is a strong determinant of labour market success. Research evidence established that year 12 graduates have better labour market outcomes than those without year 12.
The ACT and Australian governments have set year 12 attainment as a strategic indicator. To maximise the opportunities for all young people to make a positive transition from school to further education, training or work, the ACT Government has committed to increasing the proportion of 19 year-olds with a Year 12 Certificate or equivalent vocational qualification to 95 percent by 2013.
A sample survey of education and work was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in May 2009 (Figure A8.4). The survey reported that the ACT had the highest proportion of 19 year-olds with year 12 or equivalent qualifications nationally (80%).
Figure A8.4: Proportion of 19 year-olds with year 12 or equivalent attainment rates, 20091, 2
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Survey of Education and Work 2009 (unpublished data)
- The proportion of females from Northern Territory was not available for publication but included in totals where applicable unless otherwise indicated.
- Estimates for Northern Territory and Tasmania have a relative standard error of 25 percent to 50 percent and should be used with caution.
Although the result for the ACT for 2008 was higher (88%) than 2009 (80%), overall across the three reporting years a comparison of results shows that after taking into account confidence intervals the proportion of 19 year- olds with year 12 or equivalent attainment has not changed significantly (Figure A8.5).
Figure A8.5: Proportion of 19 year olds with year 12 or equivalent attainment rates, 2006, 2008 and 20091
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Survey of Education and Work 2009 and 2008 (unpublished data) and Productivity Commission 2009, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2009, Attachment Table 4A.5.6, for 2006 results
- Estimates for Northern Territory and Tasmania for 2009 have a relative standard error of 25 percent to 50 percent and should be used with caution.
For more information contact:
Measurement, Monitoring and Reporting
(02) 6205 5511