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Monday, 20 August 2001
Page: 29783

Mr LEE (10:17 PM) —If we are to finish at half past 10, I hope the next answer to a 10-second question is less than four minutes. Minister, the point I was seeking to ask you was whether the figures of 27 per cent, which you claim was the percentage of year 3 students not achieving the minimum standard in 1996, and 14 per cent, which you claim is the figure for 1999, are comparable. The reason I ask is that I would like to know how the figure of 27 per cent was arrived at. In fact, I would ask the minister to confirm that that was based on a sample survey. I would also ask the minister: wasn't the figure of 14 per cent for 1999 arrived at in a very different way? Isn't it a fact that it was based on students in different states doing different tests and having their scores equated using a formula which he negotiated with the state education ministers? How can he argue that a comparison between a sample survey and a manipulated set of statistics based on different tests in different states allows him to compare those apples with oranges?