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Advancing equity through public accountability. Mary Ann O’Loughlin Executive Councillor & Head of Secretariat Australian College of Educators National Conference July 2011. Outline. Reform of federal financial relations National Agreements National Partnerships
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Advancing equity through public accountability Mary Ann O’Loughlin Executive Councillor & Head of Secretariat Australian College of Educators National Conference July 2011
Outline • Reform of federal financial relations • National Agreements • National Partnerships • new accountability arrangements • National Education Agreement • National Partnership on Literacy and Numeracy • Value of public accountability for advancing equity
Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations • ‘represents the most significant reform of Australia’s federal financial relations in decades’ • governs all policy and financial relations between the Commonwealth and the States.
National Agreements • In specific areas of service delivery: • Education, Skills and Workforce Development, Healthcare, Disability Services, Affordable Housing, Indigenous Reform • Define the objectives, outcomes, outputs, and performance indicators • Clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth and the States and Territories • Ongoing financial contributions from the Commonwealth
National Partnerships • New incentive payments to drive reform: • to support delivery of specified projects • to facilitate reforms • to reward jurisdictions that deliver on national reforms • National Partnership Agreements define the objectives, outputs and performance benchmarks • generally time-limited
Role of the COAG Reform Council • Independent organisation set up by COAG to assess and publicly report on the performance of governments • For National Agreements • reports annually to COAG on a comparative analysis of governments’ performance in meeting objectives and outcomes • For National Partnerships • reports on performance as part of reports on National Agreements • assesses achievement of performance benchmarks by States before the Commonwealth makes reward payments
Structure of the National Education Agreement Objective All Australian school students acquire the knowledge and skills to participate effectively in society and employment in a globalised economy. All children are Young people are Australian Young people engaged in and meeting basic students excel make a successful benefitin g from literacy and by international transition from Outcomes schooling numeracy standards, standards school to work and and overall levels are further study improving Schooling promotes the social inclusion and reduces the educational disadvantage of children, especially Indigenous children P rop ortion of Literacy and P roportion of P roportion o f 20 - children numeracy students in the 24 year old s enrolled in and achievement of Year bottom and top having attained at attending 3, 5, 7 and 9 students levels of least Y ear 12 or school , by in national testing , performance in equivalent , by Indigenous and by Indigenous and international Indigenous and SES s tatus SES status testing SES status Performance Indicators The proportion P roportion of 18 - of Indigenous 24 year olds students engaged in full completing time employment, Year 10 education or training at / above Certificate III Lift the Year 12 or equivalent attainment rate to 90 per cent by 2015 Halve the gap for Indigenous students in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade Targets At least halve the gap for Indigenous students in Year 12 or equivalent by 2020
Halve the gap in literacy and numeracy by 2018 • Analyse performance 3 ways: • compare progress with trajectories • highlight significant increases or decreases in results • map changes in the gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous performance
Indigenous students at/above national minimum standard, Year 9 Reading: actual vs. trajectory
Significant improvement between 2008 and 2010 • In Reading, there was some significant progress in achievement for Indigenous children in Years 3 and 7 • In Writing, there was little significant change • In Numeracy, there was no significant improvement in any jurisdiction in any year
Indigenous Reading Indigenous Writing Indigenous Numeracy Year 3 Per cent 100 90 80 70 60 50 2008 2009 2010 Closing the gap: Students achieving at/above national minimum standard
Related National Partnerships • Early Childhood Education • Indigenous Early Childhood Development • National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care • Smarter Schools • Literacy and Numeracy* • Improving Teacher Quality* • Low Socio-economic Status School Communities • Youth Attainment and Transitions* ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ * Reward National Partnerships
National Partnership on Literacy & Numeracy • Aims to deliver sustained improvements in literacy and numeracy outcomes for all students, especially those who are falling behind • Total funding of $540 million from 2008-09 to 2011–12 • reward payments of $350 million in last two years • Priority areas for reform: • effective teaching of literacy and numeracy • strong school leadership • monitoring literacy and numeracy performance
Basis of assessment • Mandated measures in reading and numeracy: • students at or above the national minimum standard • students above the national minimum standard • average score of students • Indigenous students at or above the national minimum standard • Optional local measures
Examples of targets for measures for Indigenous students,Northern Territory
Public accountability as an incentive for reform • Are the levers strong enough?
Catalyst data __________________________________ Sydney Morning Herald June 2011 The Australian June 2011
‘Following the woeful performance of Queensland primary school children in national testing last year, the Bligh Government turned to an expert for help. The state’s children need it, after being ranked second-last in the nation.’ The Australian, 4 May 2009
At the heart of the new accountability arrangements is the question of the extent to which governments will learn constructively from feedback about their own performance, and the performance of other governments.