Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Publication Date



Curriculum implementation, Curriculum development, Student assessment, Educational assessment, Teaching skills, Student centred learning, Reporting (Student achievement)


Many students in our schools are not learning as well as they could because they are not being given learning opportunities at an appropriate level of challenge. Instead, students are grouped by year level (age) and teachers deliver curricula assumed to be appropriate for all students in the same year of school. However, the most advanced ten per cent of students in any year of school are five to six years ahead of the least advanced ten per cent. For less advanced students, the year-level curriculum is often too far ahead. Many are judged to be underperforming year after year, even though they may be making good personal year-on-year progress. For more advanced students, the year-level curriculum is often not sufficiently challenging. Many receive high grades on year-level expectations, sometimes with limited effort and lower rates of year-on-year progress. Rather than defining success in terms of year-level expectations, we need to define success in terms of the progress that individuals make, regardless of their starting points. Our high expectation should be that every student will make excellent progress every year.

Place of Publication



Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)