This was a standoff that was guaranteed to have no winners. Thank goodness a solution was found today, one that was engineered so that both parties had minimum egg on their respective faces.
I'm a union member but in this case I wasn't comfortable with the stance of refusing to administer the NAPLAN tests. I know that the mySchool website is narrow, flawed and open to all sorts of misuse abuse. But I still couldn't see how boycotting the tests which have been with us for a while now would actually bring a stubborn Education Minister to the table. But come she has, so I suppose the threat was effective. All I know it gave the vitriolic letter writers, article commenters and soapbox editors a chance to once again chastise teachers for refusing to bow to the greater political wisdom, to show how out of touch with the "real world" they are and how terrified they are of being accountable.
For me, this article takes the cake for pomposity and probably illustrates the problem so many educators have with the over-valuation of once a year tests.
It is no accident NSW schools dominate the list. The history premier, Bob Carr, ensured there was a substantial reformation of the NSW years 7 to 10 curriculum. The result was a content and skills-based curriculum rather than a process-based one. It is also no accident that NSW private schools are the high-flyers.
Well, if you ignore process altogether, then it is no surprise that schools taking this path might do well on tests that can only measure content and skills. But if this new working party can look at ways to stop this league table garbage, maybe we can ensure that an education that values process, content, skills and understanding is the end result. That this article was written by a teacher makes me shake my head in wonderment. I'd have hoped for a more enlightened viewpoint that can take in a broader perspective of Australian education.