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The Australian June 9: Education Ministers have ordered an investigation into “excessive test preparation” by schools trying to boost their NAPLAN test scores. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority has also been told to check whether principals are encouraging low-performing students to withdraw from the national literacy and numeracy exams. ACARA will ask state and territory education departments to hand over data on practice tests and NAPLAN exemptions and withdrawals. Federal Education Minister Peter Garrett rebuked schools for coaching students in NAPLAN tests a year ahead of time after it was revealed that South Australian students in Years 2, 4 and 6 are made to sit NAPLAN-style tests at the same time that Year 3, 5 and 7 students sit the real exam. Mr. Garret said, “It is not beneficial for schools to use tests to prepare students for NAPLAN when they will not be sitting the test that year.”


You didn’t know that this sort of activity was going to happen, Peter?  When you and your ministers use a stick as big as NAPLAN, can you blame teachers and children for trying to get away from the pain? Fair go, Peter.

Do states have measureable data on the names of the schools and to what extent?  You will have to explain how your agents in the states obtained the material, wont you?  One would hope that the method of collection will be more reliable than NAPLAN data. Do you ask schools to ‘fess’?  Did states have their thought-police patrolling the suburban and rural schools to obtain statistics?  Did schools dob other schools?  The extent of extra-effort that each school makes to cope with NAPLAN…the subjects that they suspended for test practice….extent of NAPLAN homework….the length of practice sessions  and how they were used….will need to be reported on their own MySchool website.  Right?

MySchool website should be worth reading this year….for the first time!

Great schooling system you’ve got there, Pete.


The Australian June 11: The Australian National Audit Office reports on the Government’s $534 million literacy and numeracy partnership which concludes that it has failed to produce any improvements after three years. The report was unable to find statistical evidence of improvement in the 1,050 schools to have benefited from the funding.


Okay. Now what do we do?  $534 million???  Please explain.


NAPLAN – Great idea  ?!?!

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