The Courier-Mail

In-school senior assessment still needs more examinatio­n

- KENNETH WILTSHIRE

THE decision to introduce a new external assessment component into Queensland’s Year 12 examinatio­ns is welcome and long overdue.

As the only state without any external assessment from P-12 the state had lost its way and was no longer aligned to national standards.

Parents had lost faith in the whole process and there was considerab­le evidence that some schools were gaming the system.

With no external benchmark and very weak monitoring from the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, a student’s results came to rely almost entirely on where their teacher ranked them in the class and particular­ly the intervals between rankings.

Teachers gathered at moderation meetings where their marks for a single piece of work could range from 40 per cent to 75 per cent.

The Core Skills test was held out as the external scaling device but it is merely a test of competenci­es, not knowledge, and so it was not possible to know how smart or dumb Queensland students really were.

Universiti­es and vocational education providers sat by passively, very aware of the inadequaci­es of the system in predicting tertiary

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