What if the national curriculum was Victoria’s?

The ABS literacy levels by state data published today confirm what the OECD PISA study released in December found – that young Victorians’ literacy levels are well behind what their contemporaries in other states are achieving.

Victoria 15 to 24 year olds are a full 10 percentage points behind (51%/61%) their equivalents in New South Wales in achieving levels 3, 4 or 5 in prose literacy. As I noted when the summary literacy report came out last month,

…level 3 skills [are] regarded as the ‘minimum required for individuals to meet the complex demands of everyday life and work in the emerging knowledge-based economy’.

The Victorians are also behind the Western Australians (57%; WA was slightly ahead of NSW in PISA), the Queenslanders (53%), and are about level with the South Australians (who round from the other direction to be also 51%). Only the Tasmanians on 49% are lower, but they have the excuse of a relatively low SES population.
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