Friday, November 13, 2009

Gillard's argument is made of straw

About using high stakes tests, such as NAPLAN, Education Minister Julia Gillard says:
"To those who say we aren't measuring the whole of a child's character development, I say I agree. But I don't believe our aim is to have schools full of happy, illiterate, innumerate children."
So who exactly is saying this is their aim Julia? Yup, no-one holds this position, but it's an easy straw man to knock down.

She goes on to say:
"Our aim is to have happy, confident children who are getting the skills they need for work and life, like reading, writing and maths."
And I'd say it's safe to say everyone agrees. However, Julia, perhaps we should be looking at the consequences of the high stakes testing you advocate?

I think I'll have to post on this (high stakes testing) at some length in the near future. The UK loves it, but as the report linked above suggests, there is, overall, a negative effect on education. New York, which Gillard is enthralled with, is now finding out the same. (Why would Australia model it's educational reforms after places that perform worse than us in international comparisons???) The (seemingly) ill informed rhetoric of our Federal Education Minister is worrying.