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Baopu He: The fraught debate about educational inequality

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13.01.2018

While the buzzword that formerly dominated the debate on selective schools was "Asian", recently it seems to have been replaced by "wealthy". The recent suggestions of a policy change on selective schools is in no doubt fuelled by the public asking a different but infinitely more valid question regarding their existence – do they still serve their original purpose of providing a high-quality education to children regardless of their family background and income?

An often used acronym in this debate is ICSEA, a number that is freely available on the MySchools website which measures a school's socio-educational advantage. On first glance, it does indeed show the top selective schools in Sydney vastly outstripping even the most expensive private schools in advantage. The nature of this advantage, however, has been deeply misunderstood.

The class of 2016: James Ruse Agricultural High School achieved the triple – first overall, first in higher English and first in Maths.

The prevailing view is that the ICSEA values show how selective schools have become the exclusive........

© Brisbane Times