Created on Thursday, 04 February 2010 12:06
Written by AEU
Nothing is more important to public school teachers than the quality of education students receive.
It is the desire to see every child fulfill his or her full potential that motivates us.
Rigorous assessment is an integral part of successful teaching and learning. As parents you have every right to information on your child’s progress and the effectiveness of your child’s school.But, teachers cannot support the publication of test results by the media in a way that will be damaging to students and school communities and the quality of education we deliver.
That is why the Australian Education Union has made an important decision on national testing (NAPLAN) in 2010 that we want to explain to you.
Publishing Test Scores
On January 28 the Federal Government published for the first time the average NAPLAN results of every school on the newly created My School website.
Despite the urging of the peak organisations representing parents, principals and teachers nothing has been done to stop those student results being used by the media to publicly rank schools in league tables.
League tables are simplistic and misleading. Furthermore, the NAPLAN tests were not designed to be used to compare schools and are not accurate enough to do so.
League tables damage schools by naming and shaming those that do not get high average scores.
Unfairly branding schools as failing based on a single test is devastating for students and their teachers. It makes it harder to achieve genuine improvement for individual students and schools as a whole. Imagine how you would feel if your child’s school was unfairly branded as failing.
Schools that are struggling need resources not rankings.
League tables will force schools to compete and focus more on lifting the school’s average score and less on individual learning.
Despite expert advice, the Federal Government refuses to protect students and school communities by stopping the creation and publication of damaging league tables.Stopping League Tables
As teachers we feel if the Government won’t act to protect students we have to. That is why we have decided not to deliver the 2010 NAPLAN tests in May if appropriate steps are not taken by the Government to stop league tables.
This decision will not
affect any other test or student assessment.
Please understand this decision has not been taken lightly.
We remain hopeful that the Government will see sense and introduce laws to stop league tables so the NAPLAN tests can proceed as normal.
If you would like more information, please visit www.aeufederal.org.au
to find out more about the campaign to stop league tables.