Friday, February 05, 2010

Will My School destroy NAPLAN?

My main post today, History of the New England New State Movement 2 - defining New England, is on the New England's History blog. This took a fair while to write, so just a brief note here.

I really don't want to write any more on the My School web site at this point. However, I did want to record a few of the stories around so that I could go back for later review:

  • I see that Neil has run two more posts linked to this issue, Three US stories with resonance for Australians and  Just a bit more on My School site. I see that Neil is going to look at South Sydney schools in the way I did Armidale schools. Here I also have an assessment from the Armidale Express of the somewhat scathing reactions of local principals, private as well as public.
  • In Schools sharpen up their profiles, the SMH reports that some eighty schools have asked if they could update their school descriptions. I am not surprised. From my tour of NSW schools, some of the descriptions read like mandated mission statements following a standard template.
  • In  Students get new subject: the test, the Australian reports that Victorian public schools are being told to "explicitly teach" for the national literacy and numeracy tests as part of a drive to lift the state's overall performance with the release of nationwide test results.

I think that is going to a little while yet before the effects of My School web site really filter through. Like everything, there will be some good and bad. Tightening up school descriptions of what they do is good, teaching to test is bad.

I am slowly forming the view that one outcome may be a highly unexpected one from Minister Gillard's viewpoint, the partial discrediting of the NAPLAN tests themselves.

By now I must have read the best part of 50 newspaper reports on this one, including a lot of stories in the local press across New England. The need to exercise care with NAPLAN is an almost universal school level response even from schools that have benefited in some way. I wonder who parents are going to believe in the end, the Feds or their school?         

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