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ERIC Number: EJ983304
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0004-9441
Why Does Year Twelve Retention Differ between Australian States and Territories?
Ryan, Chris; Watson, Louise
Australian Journal of Education, v50 n2 p203-219 Aug 2006
Year Twelve retention rates have a number of well-known deficiencies that prevent proper comparisons of school completion between school systems. This paper compares secondary school completion rates across Australian states and territories from 1989 to 2002 and adjusts "official" 2002 retention rates to take account of the acknowledged measurement problems. We identify a pattern of mismeasurement of national Year Twelve retention over the 1990s. We estimate that the Year Twelve retention rate was a particularly poor measure of national school completion in the early 1990s, when it appeared to peak in the official estimates. In contrast to the official figures, our adjusted measure of Year Twelve retention was no lower in the late 1990s than it had been in the early 1990s. Our findings suggest that governments should be cautious in using official Year Twelve retention rates as a measure of the performance of Australian school systems. (Contains 18 notes, 2 tables and 3 figures.)
Australian Council for Educational Research. 19 Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell, VIC 3124, Australia. Tel: +61-3-9277-5447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia