More Evidence that Test-Based Accountability Narrows the Curriculum

A new academic study has found that test-based accountability measures in the United States have narrowed the curriculum in schools. A statistical analysis published in the latest issue of Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis concludes that there is strong evidence that class time devoted to mathematics and English has increased while the share going to science and social studies has decreased in response to school accountability measures. Continue reading “More Evidence that Test-Based Accountability Narrows the Curriculum”

Share Your NAPLAN Stories

The next round of NAPLAN tests is only a few weeks away. 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 “Share Your NAPLAN Stories”

The Challenges of Teaching Under High-Stakes Testing

A US Professor of Education reflects on the challenges of teaching under the obsession with high stakes testing. The following is an edited extract from an article published in the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog.

Designed as one measure of student learning, testing has become the end product of our schools. Our schools are no longer designed to produce educated citizens but rather places to produce test results. Continue reading “The Challenges of Teaching Under High-Stakes Testing”

The Whackiness of School League Tables

Once again, The Canberra Times has run the legal gauntlet by publishing the crudest of school league tables. The Times is the proverbial “last man standing” now that the nation’s other newspapers have given up on this practice.

A quick analysis of the content of the league tables reveals how unreliable and meaningless the information is – at least when it comes to drawing any conclusions about school or teacher quality. Continue reading “The Whackiness of School League Tables”

Study Reveals the Damage to Education by NAPLAN and My School

Together with many teachers, academics and others around Australia, we can only feel vindicated by a new study by researchers at the University of Melbourne that shows the disastrous consequences of reporting school results on national literacy and numeracy tests. Incredibly, 75% of teachers say that they now teach to the test because of the focus on the NAPLAN tests and 70% say that less time is now spent on other subjects in schools. Continue reading “Study Reveals the Damage to Education by NAPLAN and My School”

Many Schools Have High Withdrawal Rates from NAPLAN

While there have been large increases since 2008 in the percentage of students withdrawn from the NAPLAN tests, the average withdrawn remains low in all states and for Australia. However, these low averages disguise some very high withdrawal rates in many schools.

Continue reading “Many Schools Have High Withdrawal Rates from NAPLAN”

Big Increase in Students Withdrawn from NAPLAN Tests

An increasing number of parents are withdrawing their children from the NAPLAN tests. There has been a four- to five-fold increase across Australia since 2008 in the percentage of children withdrawn from the numeracy tests. Withdrawals have increased in all Year levels tested and across all states and territories, with the largest increases in the ACT, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.

Continue reading “Big Increase in Students Withdrawn from NAPLAN Tests”

Survey Finds that NAPLAN Has a Detrimental Effect on Education

The results of a survey published last month show that a large majority of teachers think that the NAPLAN tests detract from learning in the classroom and have little education benefit for students.

Teachers say that NAPLAN has lead to a narrowing of the curriculum, teaching to the test, and a negative classroom environment that lowers student engagement and does not cater for the needs of individual students. Hours of test preparation mean that it is harder to cater for students with the greatest need.

The tests are also increasing stress and anxiety amongst students. Many students are experiencing anxiety attacks, are not sleeping and are becoming physically ill before the tests. Continue reading “Survey Finds that NAPLAN Has a Detrimental Effect on Education”

Education is More Than Test Scores

All the weight now placed on NAPLAN scores and international test scores as the measure of education success ignores a fundamental dictum: education is more than test scores. Tests ignore much of what schools do that is highly valuable to children growing up and to society. The Prime Minister and her Education Minister do not appear to understand this. Continue reading “Education is More Than Test Scores”