Most Aussie year 10 students scored badly on a recent national civics test, according to a new report.
With only 38 per cent scoring at or above the proficient standard, the results of the latest National Assessment Program civics and citizenship test were in line with the disappointing scores of the past 15 years.
Since 2004, that benchmark of proficient scores has never been reached by a majority of year 10 students, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority said.
Results have varied from 39 per cent in 2004 to 38 per cent in both 2016 and the most recent study, conducted in 2019.
The high mark came in 2010 when 49 per cent of year 10 students scored at or above the proficient standard.
“It is disappointing that the results suggest our next generation isn’t demonstrating a sufficient level of understanding of the significance and history of our democracy and shared values,” ACARA chief David de Carvalho said.
“The proficient standard is set at a ‘challenging but reasonable’ level of achievement, linked to the expectations in the Australian curriculum. The report reveals important insights into students’ understanding and appreciation of democracy, civic processes and institutions, and how they are perceived.”
Year 6 students have fared better than their older peers in every tri-annual survey since 2004. The latest results from 2019 showed 53 per cent of students in that class reached the benchmark.
That’s close to the 15-year average of 52.5 per cent.
In both age brackets, female students fared better than male ones. And children whose parents were senior managers or professionals scored significantly higher than kids whose parents were unskilled labourers or held office, sales or service jobs.
Metropolitan schools also scored higher than regional and remote ones.
The survey also measured schoolchildren’s cultural values, and found around four out of five kids in both age brackets believed learning about Australia’s history was an important attribute of a good citizen.
However, there was a decrease in year 6 students who believed learning what happens in other countries was important to be a good citizen.
There was also a decrease of students in both age brackets who believed good citizens should learn about political issues from the media.