Government versus non-government schools: A nation-wide assessment using Australian NAPLAN data
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There are considerable differences in school outcomes on the NAPLAN tests in Australia between Government and non-Government schools. This paper documents these for four years of study (Years 3, 5, 7 and 9), and for the five NAPLAN domains (Grammar and Punctuation, Numeracy, Reading, Spelling and Writing). It then examines the extent to which the differences are due to characteristics of the schools, such as the socioeconomic status of the school and the gender mix of the total enrolment at the school. It is shown that a greater share of the difference in marks between Government and non-Government schools in Year 9 than in Year 3 is due to the characteristics of the schools. This implies that, consistent with recent press coverage, the better outcomes of the non-Government schools are due, in part at least, to a selection process that favours academically advantaged students.
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