ACARA Disqualifies Itself from Assessing the Impact of NAPLAN

Save Our Schools today called on the national ministers’ education council to re-commission an investigation of the impact of NAPLAN. Trevor Cobbold, national convenor of SOS, said that the integrity of the investigation had been prejudiced by statements by officials of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) which was charged to do the report. Continue reading “ACARA Disqualifies Itself from Assessing the Impact of NAPLAN”

A Mother’s Plea to the Prime Minister on NAPLAN

Dear Prime Minister,
I have a six year old son. He loves dinosaurs, and is currently obsessed with a Praying Mantis he found in the back yard. Like most kids, he is funny, exhaustingly active and has a mind like a sponge, soaking up learning in a fun and imaginative journey.

When he is old enough (and if it is still around), he will not be taking part in the Naplan testing and I will do anything I can to inform other parents about the limitations of this testing. Continue reading “A Mother’s Plea to the Prime Minister on NAPLAN”

NAPLAN is a Cancer Eating Away at Education

Save Our Schools has received many objections to the NAPLAN tests from parents, teachers and principals in response to its public call for information on the impact of the tests. Trevor Cobbold, National Convenor of SOS, said that the responses show that NAPLAN is having pernicious effects on Australian education. Continue reading “NAPLAN is a Cancer Eating Away at Education”

ACARA Ignores Evidence on Teaching to the Test

Barry McGaw, chairman of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), says that claims that NAPLAN is creating test-driven schooling are “nonsense” (The Age, 7 May 2012). Yet, the national education ministers’ council is so concerned about excessive test preparation and the narrowing of the curriculum that it recently commissioned ACARA to investigate and report on it. Continue reading “ACARA Ignores Evidence on Teaching to the Test”

Education Authorities Are Misleading Parents on Withdrawal from NAPLAN Tests

Save Our Schools has accused the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and other education authorities of actively misleading parents about their right to withdraw their children from the NAPLAN tests. Trevor Cobbold, national convenor of SOS, said that that ACARA’s information brochure for parents on NAPLAN gives the impression that the tests are mandatory. Continue reading “Education Authorities Are Misleading Parents on Withdrawal from NAPLAN Tests”

Schools Off-Load Low Achieving Students to Boost League Table Ranking

Low achieving students are being off-loaded by schools in England in order to boost their league table rankings according to a report published by the think-tank Civitas last month. It found that low achieving students with bad behaviour are more likely to be transferred than higher achieving students with bad behaviour. Continue reading “Schools Off-Load Low Achieving Students to Boost League Table Ranking”

Call to Scrap Like School Comparisons on My School

The public education group, Save Our Schools, today called for like school comparisons to be scrapped. National Convenor of SOS, Trevor Cobbold, said that ‘like school’ comparisons on My School 2.0 will be biased against low socio-economic status (SES) government and private schools.

Continue reading “Call to Scrap Like School Comparisons on My School”

The Release of More Cane Toads

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Cane beetles were a nuisance in our sugar fields and the USA offered help. In Hawaii there were some toads that liked eating beetles. If something comes from the U.S.A, dutiful Australia is obliged to copy, so 102 USA-bred cane toads were turned loose at Gordonvale way up north.

Since no one had thought any further than the beetle-eating stage, things didn’t turn out so well. No one had measured how high the little darlings could jump…not high…and the beetles survived.

Continue reading “The Release of More Cane Toads”

School Rewards Will Encourage Poaching and Cheating

Labor’s $100 000 reward for schools which most improve their results will encourage them to cheat and rort their results, poach high achieving students from each other and discriminate against other students says Save Our Schools, a public education advocacy group.

SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the scheme will be another huge waste of money that could be better used to fund schools with high student learning needs rather than dissipated in fruitless and destructive competition between schools. Continue reading “School Rewards Will Encourage Poaching and Cheating”