Monday, 14 March 2011

NAPLAN vs school funding

I have lost count of the number of times I've been told that the key to improving the education of the "disadvantaged" is more money. I wonder about that - can more money convince feckless parents to read to their kids before bedtime? Can more money convince useless parents to force their kids to do their homework and do some study every night?

Now that I have more data, I've updated my graphs on school funding vs NAPLAN scores in grades 3 and 5. The R-squared results are low 0.32 to 0.35, so there's stuff all correlation between NAPLAN results in those years and how much money is stuffed into a school.

Notice that the line slopes down though - the less funding a school gets, the better its NAPLAN score tends to be. That shows that schools with low NAPLAN numbers are getting more money - the big question is whether they are putting it to good use. What's the point of giving them more money if all they do is piss it up against the wall? By that, I really mean the parents pissing it up against the wall. A school and its teachers can only do so much. Parents have to do their bit too. A good school will always have a tough time producing results if the parents don't provide any support and direction to their kids.


Mrs MacKenzie said...

Hello, I just discovered your blog and I have been enjoying reading. I do just want to say something about this post. My children go to a 2 teacher school in the Central Tablelands NSW. The school has 30 students, our Naplan results are lower and we do receive good funding. Our Principal puts it to great use but it is not enough. We desperately need funding for another teacher's aide as we have children who need extra support. All three of my children struggle with reading and we read to them every day, help them with their reading and make sure they do their homework. My husband and I are very well educated and have a good income but one of our children is going to do really badly in the Naplan tests. That is not the school's fault, our fault or our child's fault. It is the fault of a ridiculous assessment system which marginalises children with learning difficulties. Lower Naplan results do not equate with poor parental input.

Mrs MacKenzie said...

Did my comment vanish into the ether?