The Courier-Mail

Mark of failure in education system

THE WORD ON THE STREET

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KENNETH Wiltshire, in his opinion piece ( C-M, Sep 8), continued the fine Queensland Education tradition of fighting against numbers.

It has not been enough in Queensland to forbid teachers from adding up students’ marks, to stop percentage­s and rankings appearing on report cards, to force written essays into maths subjects, to give children calculator­s for the times tables, to remove equations from physics and chemistry subjects, and to award tertiary placements based on subjective opinions.

No, to remain behind the other states, we must also protect students at the “impression­able age” of 17 from being given a number and we must “never, ever let measurers or number crunchers be in charge of any part of the school system”.

Many Queensland maths and physics teachers are walking away from their jobs and those remaining to teach maths have no mathematic­al training. The number-free nirvana approaches. Matt Dean, Mt Gravatt East TWO years ago a parliament­ary inquiry received overwhelmi­ng complaints about the Queensland Studies Authority (since renamed the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority).

So why is Kenneth Wiltshire advocating that it be given greater powers over schools? There is a fair and freer option already working in Australia. If we scale school tests by external exams, like other states do, schools could remain free to teach and assess the syllabus as they see fit. Luke McCormack, Inala I READ Kenneth Wiltshire’s opinion piece with surprise.

Federal Education Minister Christophe­r Pyne is pushing for online NAPLAN testing, not me. I’ve consistent­ly raised concerns about online testing. Kate Jones, State Minister for Education FRED DECLIS 62, cleaner, Durack Yes, I’ll at least try. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay awake for the whole thing though. DAVID LLOYD 34, security installer, Eight Mile Plains I’m a big Broncos fan so I won’t be missing it.

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