Treehorn repeats himself….
Outstanding Features of Australian Schooling
LNP has entrenched : “The conditions for funding include standardised year 1 school assessment of students’ reading, phonics and numeracy skills, annual reports to parents that identify literacy and numeracy attainment against national standards, and a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy skills for year 12 school leavers.
The government also wants to link teacher salary progression to demonstrated competency and achievement against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, rather than just length of service” (SMH)
This news item on the recent budget indicates significant changes to the Australian schooling system, the likes of which Australia has never experienced before. Once a nation of learners, we are about to become the world’s busiest and nerviest test-takers. The changes, cunningly arranged as an adjunct to the budget papers were not commented upon by any teacher group nor by any professional organisation nor by any political party nor by any candidate nor by any educational journal nor newspaper. The new rules were plonked on an unprepared public and are here to stay.
[By the way, on the way home from the Parents Rally in Brisbane on Wednesday afternoon, 1 June, I heard a Queensland Lab. M.P., former teacher, say that the tests for Year 1 were necessary so that, in the future, comparisons could be made between scores in Cunnamulla, Coolangatta and Caboolture. They are needed, he said. Sorry kids. he must believe in the ‘state theory of fear based schooling’. One day!]
The testing industry is now in complete control of Australian schooling and of its associations. Only a large reaction from concerned parents and opt-outers can change it. Reliance on any political party to care about the kids they force to attend school is fruitless. The atmosphere is clouded by fear and tension and bullying and unethical conduct. Teacher groups that purport to represent professional attitudes of teachers, maintain a laissez faire attitude and are noticeably silent.
You can pick the kleinist testucators. They use NAPLAN scores as a reference point, as if they were important.
Who would want to become a teacher? There is a serious need for government to listen to the voices from the classroom and to return teaching to the teachers; and to think more seriously about what it is doing to schools. Check your candidates.
One can now state, without fear of contradiction, that the most outstanding features of Australian schooling on the world’s stage, are…..
* Children are introduced to the rigours of heavy-duty testing at five years of age.
* Fear-based test preparation occupies one-third of every school year for Years 3,5,7,9.
* Parents and teachers are not encouraged to express their concerns nor given the choice of “Yes” or “No” to test participation.
* School principals are prevented from informing parents of their right of choice prior to test-time.
* School leavers must undertake minimal competency tests of literacy and numeracy in their final year.
* An holistic curriculum is undertaken only by those pupils who attend completely independent schools and by home-schoolers.
* Teachers are punished if their pupils do not perform well at tests held in MAY each year.
These features are about the most rigorous in the western world. Historical evidence [from the US and UK in particular] indicates that such features lead to disaster. Punishment by Results is the latest innovation for teachers. Wow.
One must ask : How would Finland’s voters react if these conditions were imposed on their schooling system?
Have you ever wondered why Australian schooling has gone backwards so fast since 2008?