The Courier-Mail

State’s Year 12s bottom of class


QUEENSLAND students rate the worst in the country for maths and physics.

Sunshine State students failed to compare to their fellow first-year university students from other states in an analysis of Year 12 students coming to the University of New South Wales Canberra.

UNSW Canberra researcher John Arnold said the average mark for a Queensland student in maths was 57, compared with 71 for South Australia and the Northern Territory and 69 for Tasmania.

Even the second-lowest, the ACT, received an average of seven marks higher than Queensland.

“It’s quite clear that Queensland­ers are coming to UNSW Canberra much less prepared for subjects like maths and physics than any other state or territory in Australia,” he said.

“There’s something going on in the curriculum or assessment space, I think, that is causing Queensland students to be not as prepared.”

Queensland Secondary Principals’ Associatio­n president Andrew Pierpoint said the report was not a cause for panic.

“It’s another reinforcem­ent that teachers need to teach within their areas and we should have no teachers teaching outside of their areas,” he said, adding that this was not a short-term fix.

Education Minister Kate Jones said changes to the OP system would help Queensland stay on par with other states.

The study results, collected over seven years, showed that Queensland students also faced challenges in physics, with the average mark sitting at 59.7, compared with every other state recording at least 63 or higher.

Prof Arnold said the difference was seen strongly at UNSW Canberra as there was a large cross-section of students from different states.

“We really are trying to see whether we can work with educationa­l experts in Queensland to identify what the problem is,” he said.

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