Tests for students ‘too narrow’
TEACHERS’ UNION PRESIDENT CRITICISES FEDERAL REPORT
Minister Simon Birmingham released a report put together by a panel of principals, teachers, academics and researchers into the need for literacy and numeracy checks for Australian Year 1 students on September 18.
The panel found the literacy checks should focus on phonics while the numeracy assessment should focus on number sense and location.
It recommended screening assessments be administered by a teacher who would use an online platform to record results for teachers and parents, during the second half of the school year.
Ms Byrne said the report was “too narrow” in terms of reference and was limited to advising WA Education Minister Sue Ellery on the implementation of a national test.
“Children in this state begin pre-primary in a school setting, which means that the information gained about each child’s learning stays with the school,” she said.
“Pre-school and Year 1 teachers can plan and work together in implementing particular programs and teaching strategies based on the needs of each child.
“To suggest that a teacher, by term 3 of Year 1, would not know which children were experiencing problems is to demean the value of the teacher’s professional judgement.”
Mr Birmingham said he would review the findings later this year.
In WA, there is a mandated on-entry assessment for pre-primary students.