Tests for stu­dents ‘too nar­row’

TEACH­ERS’ UNION PRES­I­DENT CRITICISES FED­ERAL RE­PORT

Eastern Reporter - - Street Watch -

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.

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