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 Standardised Testing Racket

It is NAPLAN test week next month in Australia. It is also testing season in the United States which has coincided, once again, with another round of cheating scandals highlighted by the dramatic indictment of one of the nation’s top school superintendents on racketeering charges for cheating on test scores. Continue reading “The Standardised Testing Racket”

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 Market in Education has Failed in Sweden

Sweden is the latest model for those advocating markets in education as the way to improve school results. It provides the model for so-called “free schools” being introduced in England by the UK Coalition Government.

Professor Henry Levin, distinguished economist and director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, recently gave a presentation to a conference convened by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to review the evidence about the effects of vouchers in education, which were introduced in Sweden in 1992.

Professor Levin has provided the following summary of his presentation. It was originally published on Diane Ravitch’s blog. Professor Levin’s powerpoint presentation can be downloaded from the blog.

Continue reading “The Market in Education has Failed in Sweden”

New Group to Oppose NAPLAN Tests

A new coalition has been set up to organise support for a boycott of the NAPLAN tests. The Boycott Naplan Coalition was founded by three groups: The Popular Education Network Australia PENA, The Teacher and Education Support Staff Alliance TESA and the Say No To Naplan group.

A statement by the group says the organisations came together in recognition of the need to grow a loud and united opposition to the tests, to continue to share the research and facts challenging the usefulness of the tests and to provide a vehicle for others to also collaborate on such a project. Continue reading “New Group to Oppose NAPLAN Tests”

Outrageous that Rich Schools Decide Funding for the Disadvantaged

The public education advocacy group Save Our Schools today called for government schools to be included in negotiations over the funding loadings for disadvantaged students in the new school funding model. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the future funding for disadvantaged schools is being held hostage to negotiations with the richest schools in Australia. Continue reading “Outrageous that Rich Schools Decide Funding for the Disadvantaged”

New School Funding Model Should Include Big Loadings for Disadvantaged Students

This is a summary of a new Education Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools.

The Prime Minister and the Education Minister claim that the National Partnerships on Literacy and Numeracy and Low SES Schools have increased results for students in partnership schools since 2008. They claim that schools participating in these programs have reduced the proportion of students below the national benchmarks by more than other schools and increased their average NAPLAN results by more than other schools.

Unfortunately, the Government’s claims are highly questionable. The evidence released by the Government to support its claims is weak, selective, inconsistent, and is contradicted by other NAPLAN data. Continue reading “New School Funding Model Should Include Big Loadings for Disadvantaged Students”

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”