Journal article

Long-run trends in school productivity: Evidence from Australia

A Leigh, C Ryan

Education Finance and Policy | Published : 2011


Outside the United States, very little is known about long-run trends in school productivity. We present new evidence using two data series from Australia, where comparable tests are available back to the 1960s. For young teenagers (aged 13-14), we find a small but statistically significant fall in numeracy over the period 1964-2003 and in both literacy and numeracy over the period 1975-98. The decline is in the order of one-tenth to one-fifth of a standard deviation. Adjusting this decline for changes in student demographics does not affect this conclusion; if anything, the decline appears to be more acute. The available evidence also suggests that any changes in student attitudes, school v..

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