Australia’s Chinese Students do as well as Shanghai Students

New research has refuted claims that differences in teacher quality are the primary reason for the large difference in international test results between Shanghai and Australia. It shows that Chinese immigrant students in Australia (and New Zealand) achieve similar math scores to students in Shanghai. The study suggests that culture appears to have been more important than national policies: Continue reading “Australia’s Chinese Students do as well as Shanghai Students”

NAPLAN Withdrawal Rates Increase in WA, but Many Parents are Still in the Dark about their Right to Withdraw

It seems that the campaign to inform parents of their right to withdraw their child from the NAPLAN tests is having some effect.

The West Australian reported this week that withdrawal rates increased in WA in 2013. Parents of more than 1400 WA students signed withdrawal forms to stop their children from sitting national reading, writing and maths tests. Continue reading “NAPLAN Withdrawal Rates Increase in WA, but Many Parents are Still in the Dark about their Right to Withdraw”

Teacher Says He Cheats on NAPLAN Tests

In a revealing article in the Brisbane Courier-Mail, a private school teacher says he cheats on the NAPLAN tests. He cheats by doing practice preparation for the tests to be held in two weeks.

The teacher confirms what everyone except the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) knows – much of first and early second term is taken up with practice for NAPLAN at the expense of deep analysis within subjects and less time spent on subjects not tested. Continue reading “Teacher Says He Cheats on NAPLAN Tests”

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.


  • 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.

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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”