Policy issues for Australia's education systems: Evidence from international and Australian research

Main Article Content

Abstract

Our purpose here is to discuss education policy issues in the context of empirical evidence. We note that many commonly held beliefs about Australian education such as, the relative performance and participation levels of Australian students; the importance of socioeconomic background on educational outcomes both relative to other countries and changes over-time; gender differences in mathematics and science; and the labour market situation of early school leavers; are not supported by empirical research. Such findings have implications for government policies. We also question current policy directions toward increasing Year 12 participation, expanding both secondary and post-secondary vocational education and reducing class sizes. It is hoped that the discussion will provide stimulus to evidence-based debates about Australian education.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Marks, G. N. ., McMillan, J., & Ainley, J. (2004). Policy issues for Australia’s education systems: Evidence from international and Australian research. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 12, 17. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v12n17.2004
Section
Articles
Author Biographies

Gary N. Marks, Australian Council for Educational Research and Melbourne Institute for Economic and Social Research

Gary N. Marks is a Principal Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research. Since 1996 he has authored a substantial number of reports and articles based on the Longitudinal Studies of Australian Youth Project, a study focusing on the transition from school to work. He is also involved in a longitudinal study of adults and is currently working on wealth in Australia and its influence on educational outcomes. Both longitudinal studies have a substantial policy focus.

Julie McMillan, Australian Council for Educational Research and Melbourne Institute for Economic and Social Research

Julie McMillan is a Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research, where she works on the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth project. Her current research focuses on young people's educational and labour market pathways and outcomes. Other research interests include the development of measures of socioeconomic disadvantage among school students, higher education students, and the general population.

John Ainley, Australian Council for Educational Research and Melbourne Institute for Economic and Social Research

John Ainley is Research Director of National and International Surveys at the Australian Council for Educational Research. Over the past two decades he has directed a range of policy-oriented research studies for state and federal education authorities. He directed a five-year longitudinal study of Progress through High School, conducted national surveys of subject choice and has written research reports from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth project. Most recently he completed a five-year longitudinal study of children's development of reading proficiency for the Catholic Education Commission in Victoria.