Letter of Support from Academics for “Say No to NAPLAN”

Over 100 education academics have signed a letter in support of “Say No to NAPLAN”.

We are a group of Australian academics teaching in universities. As a group we are appalled at the way in which the Commonwealth government has moved to a high stakes testing regime in the form of NAPLAN, despite international evidence that such approaches do not improve children’s learning outcomes. Continue reading “Letter of Support from Academics for “Say No to NAPLAN””

New Private School Applications Should be Rejected

Save Our Schools has called on the ACT Government to reject applications for new private schools in Charnwood and Molonglo. SOS convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the ACT Government has previously rejected a proposal for a new private school in north-west Belconnen because it would impact on existing schools and the Charnwood application should be similarly rejected. Continue reading “New Private School Applications Should be Rejected”

Is This What We Really Want for Education?

Just as students all around Australia participated in the NAPLAN tests last week, students across the United States are also in their testing season. ‘High-stakes’ tests in the US have been in place for over 20 years and they provide a lesson about what we can expect from NAPLAN and My School in the future. The lesson was spelled out in an article in the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog over the weekend. Here are some excerpts: Continue reading “Is This What We Really Want for Education?”

The Parent Factor in Education

A new OECD study shows that parental involvement in education is pivotal for the success of children throughout their school years and beyond. It says that being involved in their child’s education is the most important investment a parent can make.

It shows that many types of parental involvement are associated with better student performance, including reading books to young children, talking with adolescents and involvement in school. Even just reading at home benefits children, because it shows them that reading is something that their parents value.

Continue reading “The Parent Factor in Education”

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”

School Kids Bonus is Money for Anything But Education

The Government’s new school kids bonus grant to families to replace the tax rebate on education expenses is an education payment in name only. There is no requirement that it be spent on education-related expenses. It can be spent on anything. It could all be put into poker machines for all we know.

It will have no impact on student outcomes. The Government might just as well drop the money from a helicopter for all the impact it will have on education.

Continue reading “School Kids Bonus is Money for Anything But 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”