Cheating on NAPLAN Tests Will Only Increase

Already, we have seen several allegations of schools cheating in the first national literacy and numeracy tests held since the My School website became operational. We are likely to see more and more cheating in future because of the “high stakes” involved in publishing school NAPLAN results on My School and the publication of school league tables in the media. Continue reading “Cheating on NAPLAN Tests Will Only Increase”

Gillard Concedes Under the Collective Pressure of Teachers

The agreement of Minister Gillard to set up a working party to oversee the My School website has been the consequence of many teachers across the country making it clear that we are unhappy with the government’s intolerable treatment; silencing us, and leaving us without any say in our professional conduct whatsoever. Continue reading “Gillard Concedes Under the Collective Pressure of Teachers”

Extensive Private Tutoring Corrupts the Reliability of School Comparisons on My School

Private tutoring is the hidden face of Australian education. It is so extensive that it has been called a “shadow education system”. The My School website has given it a huge boost. Continue reading “Extensive Private Tutoring Corrupts the Reliability of School Comparisons on My School”

My School Ignores Differences in the Ethnic Composition of Schools

The so-called “like school” comparisons in the My School website are a travesty. Apart from the flaws in the measure of the socio-economic status of schools, many background factors which influence school results are ignored. A key factor which is ignored is the ethnic profile of schools.

Children from particular ethnic groups are often concentrated in particular areas and schools, and children from some ethnic communities are highly concentrated in government schools. Performance disparities between “like” schools may reflect differences in ethnic composition rather than differences in school practices. Continue reading “My School Ignores Differences in the Ethnic Composition of Schools”

Misclassification Errors in My School Comparisons: A Response to Professor McGaw

The Chairman of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, Professor Barry McGaw, has rejected criticisms made by Save Our Schools (SOS) that the “like school” comparisons on the My School website are biased in favour of private schools. But, his response effectively proves the SOS case and he fails to produce any evidence to support his claims. Indeed, the available evidence supports the SOS case. Continue reading “Misclassification Errors in My School Comparisons: A Response to Professor McGaw”

Missing Census Data May Further Bias My School Comparisons

The comparisons of the test results of so-called like schools on My School are biased in favour of private schools. This occurs because it uses a flawed measure of the socio-economic status (SES) of schools to group so-called “like schools” which systematically over-estimates the level of socio-economic disadvantage in private schools and under-estimates disadvantage in government schools. Continue reading “Missing Census Data May Further Bias My School Comparisons”

Principals to Boycott Tests in England

School principals in England have voted overwhelmingly to boycott national tests for Year 6 students to be held in May. It will be the first boycott of national tests for 17 years. It will coincide with the teacher boycott of national literacy and numeracy tests in Australia next month. Continue reading “Principals to Boycott Tests in England”

My School: The Sum of All Fears

The imminent teacher boycott of national literacy and numeracy tests gives cause to assess how well the My School website informs comparisons of school quality. Apart from creating incentives to narrow school curriculum and manipulate school test results, a major flaw is that its so-called “like school” comparisons are systematically biased in favour of private schools. Continue reading “My School: The Sum of All Fears”

Why Testing Fails: How Numbers Deceive Us All

There is broad agreement, that improving education requires assessing student outcomes, and holding those responsible accountable for the results. But, the use of standardized tests, as a tool for assessment and accountability, has resulted in more disillusionment than improvement. The heavy emphasis on testing mandated by the No Child Left Behind Law, has not lead to the sought after gains in educational outcomes. Continue reading “Why Testing Fails: How Numbers Deceive Us All”