The New South Wales Aboriginal Education Consultative Group is up in arms today after NAPLAN tests results revealed their worst fears.
The consultative group had previously warned the NSW government that a plan to adjust minimum NAPLAN standards would have serious effects upon Indigenous students. The new rule in NSW requires high school students to achieve a Band 8 result in reading, writing and numeracy before they can receive their HSC. Students will have up to 8 years to resit the exam once they first sit for the exam in Grade 9.
Currently the national minimum standard is a Band 6 level and questions are now being asked why the standard in NSW is much higher. It may seem like a simple idea to adjust the standards and turnout higher performing students, but when there are no extra systems put in place to improve teaching among disadvantaged students, there will be a lot of Indigenous and other disadvantaged students who end up without a high school certificate.
This years NAPLAN results were released recently and they reveal that 87% of year 9 Indigenous students failed to meet the new Band 8 standard. This is compared with 59% of non Indigenous students. Will the government devote extra resources to make sure those 87% of Indigenous students can obtain a High School Certificate by the time they leave school? Or will parents be forced to move inter-state where Band 6 level requirements apply?
Is the government truly committed to closing the gap? This will be yet another measuring stick to see where the government stands on this issue.