Hot Topic In Education NOW. 2017.18.
I am hot under the collar…and I don’t even wear a collar!
I am hot because I am feeling mad about what is going on in education around Australia right now.
This is not even about the HOT weather and how not all schools have air con!
I am HOT because I am an advocate of schooling and education, particularly in terms of equity but what is making me mad (and hot!) is this topic.
T E S T I N G.
We in Australia are going to follow a UK path for assessment kids aged between 5 and 7. The second year of formal schooling.
Here’s what was said in UK in 2012. Its points are many but what bothers me is the ‘stupid’ way in which nonsense words form the test. Kids who are reading and beginning to understand reading hesitate over words which DO.NOT.MAKE.SENSE.
Here’s a news report from media based on current Australian Minister for Education Simon Birmingham’s decision to get this testing procedure implemented. It is not factual as the Principal of Merrylands East PS, John Goh knows, when I tweeted to @birmo yesterday this:
There has been more said about this in many areas but do not be fooled. The Governments in Australia hold this type of testing as a carrot and stick. The Labour government started some time ago aligning the results of NAPLAN to tied funding to the states. It is not, as far as I can see, funding to support the specifics of the findings, it is about compliance.
I remain more heated than I probably need to be as a retired educator who served kids of NSW Public Schools but it’s because I am passionate and someone who specialised in early childhood learning that I have to speak up.
I apologise for the ranty type of post here but I, along with many of my colleagues in teaching around Australia are fuming about the notion that LITTLE kids need a standardised test like the one being planned. If you are a teacher or know teachers, you will be aware that they actually KNOW which kids are not doing well. They have skills and experience. What is needed is F U N D I N G to continue to help these identified children to have greater opportunity to learn and grow. But no, the Australian government is planning to P A Y organisations to T E S T all of the kids their second year of formal schooling rather than look at what schools could already tell them.
What’s your view on this latest idea (which will happen) for national testing?
Do you have a child who would be taking part in this?
Are you aware that teaching phonics in isolation with no meaning (context) to help a child understand what is read?
But phonemic awareness is another skill. More about that here.
Did you know we learn to read in a variety of ways?
THIS appeared in my FB stream and is too good not to share and ADD!
Have I asked enough questions? YES!!
P.S. If your child returned to school this week, I hope it was a good day!
Joining Kylie Purtell and friends here for I Blog On Tuesdays.