Indigenous students are six years behind in literacy and numeracy, report says

Indigenous students are trailing mainstream students by six years, according to analysis of their performance in national literacy and numeracy tests. The report from the Centre of Independent Studies, shows indigenous students in year 9 achieved similar scores last year to non-indigenous students in year 3.

The data from the federal government's My School website confirmed that indigenous education failure was concentrated in schools attended mainly by Aboriginal children. The report's authors, Helen Hughes and Mark Hughes, ranked the performance of about 9500 primary and secondary schools across Australia based on NAPLAN results. The bottom 150 schools were filled with mostly indigenous students.

The report also examines the reasons why schools fail, and investigates a number of positive initiatives which address literacy standards in indigenous communities.

SMH commentary by Anna Patty

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