Since the 1970s school attendance and student performance data have been used to determine the status and future of bilingual education programs in remote NT schools. They have primarily been evaluated for educational planning purposes, which is both acceptable and necessary. Regrettably, evidence has also been selectively compiled by Government officials at different times, as in 2008, to serve a particular political purpose. Bilingual education has always been contested since its inception in the NT. It is argued in this chapter that had this educational approach been better understood, there would have been greater official willingness to maintain support, and to continue refining it as a model of schooling appropriate for students in remote areas. Instead, in 2008 and 2009, some decision makers publicly debunked bilingual-biliteracy education, which they poorly understood, thereby diverting schools and communities, and distracting their attention away from the work that needed to be done.
|Title of host publication||History of bilingual education in the Northern Territory|
|Subtitle of host publication||People, programs and policies|
|Editors||Brian Devlin, Samantha Disbray, Nancy Devlin|
|Place of Publication||Singapore|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
Devlin, B. (2017). Policy Change in 2008: Evidence-Based or a Knee-Jerk Response? In B. Devlin, S. Disbray, & N. Devlin (Eds.), History of bilingual education in the Northern Territory: People, programs and policies (pp. 203-218). (Language Policy; Vol. 12). Springer Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-2078-0_17