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”
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.
Tuesday April 1, 2014
Following questions raised about its commitment to the Gonski funding for the two final years of the six year transition period, the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has clarified Labor’s position. At a doorstop interview in Perth yesterday, Shorten gave an unequivocal commitment to the full Gonski funding.
There appears to be a new unity ticket between Labor and the Coalition on the Gonski school funding. The Coalition has always refused to commit to the final two years of Labor’s six year Gonksi funding plan. Now, it appears that Labor is having second thoughts.
The Shadow Education Minister, Kate Ellis, has refused to commit Labor support for the increase in funding it planned for the two final years of the six year transition to the Gonski funding model. It puts a final question mark against the $7 billion increase in Federal funding promised by the Labor Government for 2017-18 and 2018-19. Continue reading “Is This the End of Gonksi?”
Once again the Federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, has been severely embarrassed by the OECD. This week in Federal Parliament, Pyne repeated his claim that more school autonomy delivers better student results only to be contradicted by another OECD report. Continue reading “OECD Contradicts Pyne’s Claim on School Autonomy Success”
Yet, another study of school autonomy has cast doubt on its effectiveness in raising student achievement. It also suggests schools may use greater autonomy to target resources to particular students at the expense of others. Continue reading “Another Study Shows that School Autonomy Does Not Increase Student Achievement”
Gonski panel member, Ken Boston, has slammed the Labor Party for failing on the politics of delivering the full Gonski school funding model. He said that Labor has failed to prosecute a public case for the six year funding plan, made major mistakes in delaying implementation of the Gonksi model for nearly two years and is now failing to put sufficient pressure on the Abbott Government to implement the full Gonski. Continue reading “Gonksi Panel Member Slams Labor’s Ineptitude on Gonski Funding”
The Senate Estimates hearing on education at the end of February shed more light on how the Coalition Government is sabotaging the Gonksi funding model. The hearing revealed that the Government will dishonour agreements made with some state and territory governments to provide funding increases over the next six years and it will not hold governments to their agreements to increase funding over the next four years; nor will it place conditions on the funding it has provided to the governments that refused to sign up to Gonski. The other sabotage is that state and territory governments will not be required to implement a needs-based funding model and perhaps nor will private school organisations. Continue reading “Federal Officials Confirm the Coalition’s Sabotage of Gonski”
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”
New research by the Boston Consulting Group shows that increased funding for low income students increases their reading and mathematics results. It also shows that needs-based funding can improve results for all students, whether from low-income or high-income families. The research contradicts claims that there is no correlation between school expenditure and outcomes. Continue reading “Greater Funding Equity Increases Student Results”