Policy and performance: Aboriginal education in Western Australia in the 1990s
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of International, Cultural and Community Studies
Concern about low rates of participation and achievement among Aboriginal students intensified from the late 1960s. Twenty years later this concern was formalised into the National Aboriginal Education Plan (NAEP), a commonwealth/state agreement which identified 21 goals for Aboriginal education, grouped into four main purposes: to increase Aboriginal involvement in educational decision making; to improve equality of access for Aboriginal people to educational services; to increase Aboriginal participation to the same level as all Australians; and to achieve equitable and appropriate outcomes for Aboriginal people. This policy took effect from January 1990. Although progress in achieving these goals is recognised as being very slow (Partington, 1998, p. 4), there has been little examination at the state level of the effectiveness of the policy process underpinning Aboriginal education.