Skip to comments.Australian fight over tests, school rankings - similar but different [Interesting!]
Posted on 01/30/2010 12:46:39 AM PST by James C. Bennett
Australia is in the midst of a battle over standardized tests and school rankings that is similar to B.C.'s, but with a few important differences.
The Australian government is about to launch a website called My School, which will give the public access to student results, school-by-school, in reading, writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation and numeracy. The website will also provide additional information about the 10,000 schools in its data base - such as size, number of indigenous students, number of teachers - and will include a statement about each school written by school staff.
Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard is quoted in the Australian media as saying the website ushers in a new era of accountability.
"I am confident that parents want transparency and they want more information," she stated. "They will never before have had better access to information than My School is going to give them."
An outraged Australian Education Union has responded with a threat to boycott of standardized tests next May. They say the information on the My School website is too simplistic to give parents a true picture of a school's performance and will encourage schools to teach to the test.
As well, there are concerns that the information will be used to create "league tables" that will rank schools.
The union offered to drop its boycott plan if Gillard took steps to prevent the publication of league tables by the media or other institutions, but Gillard refused.
A Sydney Morning Herald editorial says one Australian state - New South Wales - has had a ban on league tables drawn from public exam results for 11 years "since The Daily Telegraph stigmatised a public high school class in a Sydney battler suburb as losers.
(Excerpt) Read more at communities.canada.com ...
Hope someone has welcomed you to Free Republic. I’m an Aussie too.
The Teacher’s Unions are very against this entire idea, aren’t they? I figure if they don’t like it, it must be good!
Yes, they have, and yes, indeed!
Welcome to Free Republic. Good article. It shows the attitude of some teaching “professionals’ that parents are stupid, too stupid to understand test scores.