More on the Storm of Protest in the US Against Testing

It’s testing season in America, and regardless of how the students do, it’s clear who is already flunking the exams.

Last week in New York, new standardized tests began rolling out across the state, and tens of thousands of families said “no dice.”

Continue reading “More on the Storm of Protest in the US Against Testing”

Wave of Protest Against Testing

The new testing season in the United States has seen a wave of parent protests against testing in the last few weeks. Thousands of parents have opted to take their children out of statewide tests across the country.

There have been high-profile boycotts and rallies across the country, including in large school districts such as Chicago and New York, to promote the right of parents to withdraw their children from the tests. Parents complain that the tests are unnecessary, excessive, and are harming their children’s education. Continue reading “Wave of Protest Against Testing”

What is Happening with NAPLAN in Your School?

The 2014 NAPLAN tests are on in just four weeks. Save Our Schools is again collecting information on the impact of NAPLAN on students, teachers and schools.

Tell us your stories and information about the effects of NAPLAN in your school. Use the “Contact Us” facility on the Save Our Schools website. If you would like to provide more detailed information and stories please contact us to arrange another address to send your information. Continue reading “What is Happening with NAPLAN in Your School?”

Why We Opted Our Child Out of State Testing

The NAPLAN tests are on again next month. The standardised testing season in the United States is also underway. While many parents in Australia are only just finding out that their children do not have to sit the NAPLAN tests, a huge opt-out movement has developed in the United States against tests. Newspapers across the country have carried many stories about the growing resistance to testing which are available on The National Centre for Fair Testing website. The Centre also has a website devoted to helping the resistance to testing. It has resources on why and how to opt out of tests and how to organise against tesing. Continue reading “Why We Opted Our Child Out of State Testing”

Your Child Does Not Have to Do NAPLAN

Wednesday April 16, 2014

The NAPLAN tests take place on May 13-15. The Say No To NAPLAN group has produced a flyer for parents about the harm done by NAPLAN and including a form parents can use to withdraw their child from the tests. Please download and circulate to parents.

NAPLAN

  • does NOT measure individual student achievement accurately or reliably;
  • is NOT diagnostic (it does not identify your child’s strengths or needs);
  • narrows the curriculum and encourages low-level thinking;
  • is harming some children;
  • is NOT being used to identify those schools needing extra funding.The flyer calls on parents to write to their principal refusing permission for their child to do the NAPLAN tests.
Your Child Does Not Have to Do NAPLAN

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A Cautionary Tale from New York on High Stakes Testing

Lectures by US Professor of Education, David Hursh, in Melbourne and Sydney last month described the rise of market-based education policies in New York State. He showed that over the last twenty years, control over education policy has shifted from the local level to the state and federal levels.

As a result, he said, unelected and unaccountable entrepreneurs and corporations dominate curricular and assessment decisions. Students and teachers are increasingly assessed by tests that are intended to portray them as failures. However, parents, students, educators and community members are fighting back to regain control over education. Continue reading “A Cautionary Tale from New York on High Stakes Testing”

Are Finland’s Vaunted Schools Slipping?

Leading Finnish education expert, Pasi Sahlberg, comments on Finland’s slip down the rankings on international test results from the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA).

The irony of Finland’s successful school system is that the Finns never aimed to be better than anyone else — except, it is often humorously claimed, Sweden. Since the announcement of the first results of the Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, in 2001, Finland has been the center of educational attention. Finland’s PISA scores topped the charts, and the Finnish approach to educational policy has stood in direct opposition to the path embraced by the United States, England, and much of the rest of the world. Continue reading “Are Finland’s Vaunted Schools Slipping?”

Australia is in the Top League of All-rounders

The Labor Government’s Better Schools Plan aims to put Australian schools into the top 5 in the world by 2025. A new OECD report shows that Australia is already in the top 5 in one respect – producing high all-round results.

Australia is ranked equal fourth in the world in terms of the proportion of students who are top performers in reading, mathematics and science (all-rounders). It has 8.1 per cent of students at the top proficiency levels in all three subjects. Continue reading “Australia is in the Top League of All-rounders”

A Tale of ACARA and the See-no-evil Monkeys: There is No Excuse for Willful Ignorance

The Australian Senate’s Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee is currently holding an Inquiry into the effectiveness of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).

Over 70 submissions have been received of varying quality. In this article, I focus on the submission from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). ACARA is the custodian of NAPLAN and how it is used for school transparency and accountability purposes on the MySchool website. Continue reading “A Tale of ACARA and the See-no-evil Monkeys: There is No Excuse for Willful Ignorance”

Principals Say NAPLAN Has a Negative Impact on Schooling

A majority of primary school principals believe that the NAPLAN tests are having a negative impact on schooling. They say it has a negative impact on student well-being, curriculum and teaching practices and that considerable time is spent on preparing for the tests.

Two-thirds of principals say the tests impact negatively on student well-being, just over half say they have a negative impact on curriculum and 45 per cent say it has a negative impact on teaching practice in the classroom. Two-thirds of principals reported that time is spent on preparing for NAPLAN in their schools. Continue reading “Principals Say NAPLAN Has a Negative Impact on Schooling”