Fighting for Equity in Education

The struggle is long but hope is longer

From a Parent Advised Not to Withdraw Her Child from NAPLAN

Posted on Monday May 7, 2012

A parent says why she has withdrawn her daughter from NAPLAN despite being advised not to do so by her school. >> Read on...

A Parent Perspective on NAPLAN

Posted on Wednesday May 2, 2012

A parent questions the value of NAPLAN >> Read on...

Inappropriate Uses of NAPLAN Results

Posted on Tuesday May 1, 2012

NAPLAN tests are limited in their coverage of the wide range of skills in literacy and numeracy, and in their capability to measure the achievement levels of individual students and the performance of schools. >> Read on...

National Resolution Against High Stakes Testing in the US

Posted on Friday April 27, 2012

A national resolution against high stakes testing was launched in the US this week by a coalition of education, parent and civil rights groups. It calls for reduced reliance on standardised test results to evaluate students, teachers, principals and schools. >> Read on...

What Is NAPLAN Doing to Your School?

Posted on Monday April 23, 2012

The next round of NAPLAN tests are in mid-May. Tell us your stories and information about the impact of NAPLAN in your school. >> Read on...

Parent Boycott of Standardised Testing is Growing

Posted on Thursday April 19, 2012

A parent rebellion against standardised testing is growing in the United States because it narrows the curriculum and distorts teaching. >> Read on...

NAPLAN Test Barrage for Students

Posted on Tuesday April 10, 2012

The next round of NAPLAN tests are due next month. Students around Australia have endured a barrage of practice tests for NAPLAN during first term. For many schools, NAPLAN is now the equivalent of Year 12 exams. >> Read on...

Texas in Revolt Against High Stakes Testing

Posted on Saturday April 7, 2012

About one-quarter of all district school boards in Texas have passed a resolution in the past two months condemning the reliance on standardised tests to judge progress in education improvement. More are expected to follow. It is the biggest revolt against high-stakes testing in the US so far. < >> Read on...

New Cheating Allegations Involving Thousands of US Schools

Posted on Monday March 26, 2012

A massive new cheating scandal has erupted in the United States, possibly involving thousands of schools across the country. The new scandal calls into question the validity of test results used to assess schools and teachers. >> Read on...

The Fallibility of League Tables Exposed

Posted on Wednesday March 21, 2012

The claims by columnist Paul Sheehan that private schools do better than public schools fail to take account of significant differences in the socio-economic status composition of schools and the statistical margin of error on the NAPLAN test results used to rank schools. OECD test results show that public schools do just as well as private schools after accounting for socio-economic composition. >> Read on...

Test Mania is a Perversion of Education

Posted on Monday February 13, 2012

NAPLAN mania dominates the first half of the school year in Australian schools. A Republican education commissioner warns of the dangers of test mania and the “military-industrial complex” in US education. >> Read on...

Report Finds that High Stakes Testing is Harmful to Student Learning

Posted on Friday February 3, 2012

A new study has found consistent evidence in international research that high stakes testing is harmful to student learning, teaching, school curriculum and student well-being. < >> Read on...

The Game is Up on League Tables

Posted on Thursday January 26, 2012

The UK Government has attempted to stop schools “gaming” their results by concentrating on borderline students at the expense of high and low achieving students. >> Read on...

US Education Dept. Acts on Cheating in Tests

Posted on Monday January 23, 2012

The US Education Department has become so worried about continuing cheating scandals in schools across the country that it has issued a public request for information about practices to prevent and detect cheating by schools on standardised tests. >> Read on...

Several Schools Found to be Cheating in NAPLAN Tests

Posted on Tuesday January 17, 2012

Several teachers were found to have helped students with answers during last year’s NAPLAN tests. Several schools were also found to have encouraged some parents to withdraw their children from the tests. >> Read on...

Now it is Exam Boards Caught Cheating

Posted on Wednesday December 14, 2011

A huge cheating scandal has erupted in Britain. Exam boards have been found to be routinely giving teachers information about future questions and areas of the syllabus that would be assessed. One examiner was secretly recorded as admitting that “we’re cheating”. >> Read on...

Teachers Say the Curriculum is Being Narrowed by Testing

Posted on Monday December 12, 2011

A national survey of teachers in the United States has found that some core subjects have been effectively abandoned as a result of increased testing of literacy and mathematics.< >> Read on...

Students Taught Only Reading & Maths for a Year

Posted on Wednesday November 23, 2011

Students at an ‘exemplary’ Texas school were taught only reading and mathematics for most of last year in order to boost its test scores. >> Read on...

OECD Study Highlights Negative Consequences of High-Stakes Testing

Posted on Thursday October 27, 2011

A new paper from the OECD highlights the negative impacts of high-stakes testing on education. It says that the evidence is mixed on whether standardised tests lead to improved student outcomes, but there is greater certainty that they have negative consequences which may nullify any positive effects. >> Read on...

Outrage at Naming and Shaming Students

Posted on Friday October 21, 2011

Another example of how high stakes tests lead to extremes. A US school required students to use colour-coded ID cards based on student performance in standardised tests. >> Read on...

Tests Don’t Measure Critical Thinking

Posted on Wednesday July 27, 2011

An organiser of the Save Our Schools March on Washington says he is marching because test-based accountability has devalued and undermined learning. >> Read on...

Investigation Reports on America’s Biggest Cheating Scandal

Posted on Friday July 8, 2011

An investigation into the biggest cheating scandal ever in the US found rampant systematic cheating, widespread conspiracy to cover up the cheating and intimidation of whistleblowers. >> Read on...

There is a New Subject Called NAPLAN and a New Ailment Called “NAPLAN Belly” in Schools

Posted on Thursday May 19, 2011

The pressure on schools, teachers and students over NAPLAN mushroomed this year. It is said that NAPLAN is a new subject at school. Many young children went through incredible stress. “NAPLAN belly” is a new ailment in schools. >> Read on...

UK Govt Acts on Perverse Incentives of School League Tables

Posted on Monday May 16, 2011

The UK Government has announced new performance measures in an attempt to overcome perverse incentives from league tables for schools to neglect low and high achieving students. >> Read on...

‘Test-Prepping’ and Drilling Students for NAPLAN Has Taken Over the Classroom

Posted on Monday May 9, 2011

This week’s NAPLAN tests have put students and teachers under incredible pressure as school reputations and careers are on the line because of My School. Practicing and drilling for NAPLAN has taken over classrooms and the curriculum in the first part of the school year to the detriment of good teaching and learning. >> Read on...

Rorting of School Results in Florida

Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011

A new study published by Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that many Florida schools excluded low performing students from tests to boost school results when the Florida accountability scheme was introduced. Similar practices were used in last year’s NAPLAN tests in Australia and will be repeated in the next round of tests in May. >> Read on...

ACARA Plays King Canute on Cheating

Posted on Thursday April 7, 2011

ACARA has taken on the role of King Canute in the vain hope of stemming the tide of cheating on national literacy and numeracy tests. >> Read on...

Teaching to the Test

Posted on Monday April 4, 2011

The announcement that the NAPLAN writing test in 2011 will test persuasive writing has got everyone practising the task. It is a good example of how My School promotes teaching to the test. >> Read on...

President Obama Says Testing Makes Education Boring

Posted on Wednesday March 30, 2011

President Obama says that standardised testing makes education boring and school performance should be measured in other ways than just exam results. He also criticised teaching to the test. >> Read on...

Testing times for My School Website

Posted on Thursday March 24, 2011

My School is a second-rate measure of school performance. >> Read on...

School Reputations Trashed by My School Errors

Posted on Tuesday March 8, 2011

Hundreds of Australian schools have had their reputations needlessly trashed for over a year as a result of My School 1.0, according to writer and public education advocate Chris Bonnor. >> Read on...

My School 2.0 Misleads on Test Results but Reveals Large Resource Differences between Schools

Posted on Monday March 7, 2011

My School remains highly misleading, unreliable, unfair and harmful to education in its reporting of school test results. However, it also reveals huge achievement gaps and resource disparities between disadvantaged government schools and elite private schools. >> Read on...

New OECD Study Reveals Many Problems in Using Test Results for School and Teacher Accountability

Posted on Thursday December 2, 2010

A new study published by the OECD says that the available evidence regarding the effect of publishing student test results in school performance tables is mixed. It says there is little evidence of a positive relationship between school league tables and increased student performance and that they can lead to unintended strategic behaviour by teachers and schools. >> Read on...

Gillard Rejected Advice that My School Data has “Serious Problems”

Posted on Monday November 22, 2010

The Prime Minister has rejected advice from the COAG Reform Council that the data to be used for like school comparisons on My School 2.0 has “serious problems”. >> Read on...

‘Drill and Kill’ Tests Under Review

Posted on Tuesday November 9, 2010

There is extensive evidence that publishing school results harms education by encouraging “teaching to the test” and narrowing learning. The UK Government has announced an inquiry into primary school tests in England to examine the problem. Meanwhile, Julia Gillard and Peter Garrett continue to ignore it. < >> Read on...

Statistics Expert Slams the My School Website as Useless

Posted on Monday November 1, 2010

A visiting statistics expert who has published widely on league tables in England has slammed the My School website as useless and misleading. >> Read on...

Teachers are More Likely to Transfer from Schools with Low Results

Posted on Wednesday October 27, 2010

Study shows that teachers are more likely to leave schools with falling results than schools whose results do not change or increase. >> Read on...

School Results Matter for Voluntary Financial Donations to Schools

Posted on Thursday October 21, 2010

A research study shows that declines in published school results lead to large reductions in financial donations to schools by parents. >> Read on...

Using Enrolment Data to Measure School Socio-economic Status Will Bias Like School Comparisons in Favour of Private Schools

Posted on Wednesday October 20, 2010

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority is investigating using data from school enrolment forms to determine “like school” comparison groups on My School. The comparisons will be systematically biased in favour of private schools just as they are now. >> Read on...

On Stress Leave

Posted on Monday October 18, 2010

A story about the effects of testing and testing….and testing. >> Read on...

Murdoch Turns the Screws on Joel Klein

Posted on Tuesday October 5, 2010

Rupert Murdoch has lost patience with the fiasco of New York City’s school grading system. An editorial in the Murdoch-owned New York Post says it “stinks” and called on Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein, to scrap it. >> Read on...

High Farce in New York City

Posted on Friday October 1, 2010

New York City’s school reporting system has degenerated into high farce. Julia Gillard’s mentor, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, gets an F grade. >> Read on...

Doctors Play the Numbers Too

Posted on Tuesday September 28, 2010

Doctors’ report cards suffer the same problems as school report cards. They mislead about the quality of health care, they are subject to manipulation and there is little evidence that they lead to better health outcomes. >> Read on...

Get Used to “Bubble Kids” and “Educational Triage”

Posted on Friday September 24, 2010

Under the pressure to improve league table rankings schools are resorting to targeting resources at improving the results of students just below profiency benchmarks at the expense of very low achieving students and even high achieving students. >> Read on...

Focus on Test Results Can Be Harmful to Student Learning

Posted on Friday August 27, 2010

Students show greater motivation, are better behaved, are more likely to be independent and strategic thinkers, and achieve better results when teachers are not obsessed by grades. >> Read on...

New School Results in England Show Students Were Drilled to Pass Tests

Posted on Friday August 13, 2010

Primary school results just published in England provide an interesting insight on how standardised tests used for school accountability lead to inflated test scores and mislead about the school quality and progress in student learning. >> Read on...

The New York Bubble Bursts

Posted on Thursday August 5, 2010

The miraculous test results achieved in New York City in recent years were a mirage. The city’s test results have plummeted under new state standards implemented to stop test score inflation and bogus results. >> Read on...

War Declared on New York’s Phony Test Results

Posted on Saturday July 31, 2010

New York state education officials finally vow to end the phony test results in the state and New York City. >> Read on...

New York Test Standards are Revealed as Too Low

Posted on Friday July 23, 2010

New York’s amazing test results have been exposed as fraudulent in a study by researchers from Harvard and New York universities. Julia Gillard, take note. >> Read on...

SOS Calls for My School to be Scrapped

Posted on Wednesday July 7, 2010

Save Our Schools has called for the My School website to be scrapped in a 125-page, five-part submission to the Senate Education Committee inquiry into reporting school literacy and numeracy test results. >> Read on...

Published School Results and League Tables are Misleading and Unreliable

Posted on Sunday July 4, 2010

A new research paper published by Save Our Schools disputes the Federal Government’s claims that publishing school results on the My School website will better inform parent choice of school. The paper shows that published school results and league tables are misleading and unreliable as a guide to school quality. >> Read on...

The Alchemy of School Results

Posted on Tuesday June 29, 2010

Published school results are a modern-day form of alchemy. They bear no relationship to reality as schools more and more manipulate their results to look better. >> Read on...

Does Competition Improve Performance?

Posted on Saturday June 26, 2010

Does competition improve performance? An interesting experiment suggests that it encourages cheating, especially by low performers. >> Read on...

Publishing School Results and League Tables Harm Education

Posted on Thursday June 24, 2010

Far from improving education, publication of school results and league tables are likely to significantly harm education. Overseas studies show that they narrow the curriculum, distort teaching, reduce collaboration and increase inequity in education, among other effects. >> Read on...

Publication of School Results Does Not Improve Student Achievement

Posted on Wednesday June 23, 2010

A new SOS research paper reviews the major studies on the impact of publishing school results, school accountability measures and policies to promote greater choice and competition between schools. It shows that the Government’s claim that publishing school results will improve student achievement is not substantiated by the evidence. >> Read on...

The Great School Accountability Hoax

Posted on Sunday June 20, 2010

School accountability in the United States is a great hoax according to Diane Ravitch. >> Read on...

Ministers Admit that Security for NAPLAN Tests is Inadequate

Posted on Thursday June 17, 2010

Australian education ministers have conceded that security for the NAPLAN tests is inadequate and needs to be improved. But as long as NAPLAN has high stakes attached to it the cheating and rorting will continue and My School will continue to mislead about school performance. >> Read on...

New York’s Declining Standards Exposed

Posted on Friday June 11, 2010

Julia Gillard’s much admired New York City school reporting system is a mockery of accountability and transparency. The cut-off scores for the proficiency standard have been reduced in recent years. Now, it is revealed that students are getting credits for wrong answers and no answers in the state tests. >> Read on...

Rorting and Cheating is now the Rule with NAPLAN

Posted on Friday May 28, 2010

Australia has entered a new era of rorting and cheating of NAPLAN test results because of the intense pressure placed on schools to improve their test scores and rankings on school league tables. It means that the whole national assessment and reporting system will be corrupted. >> Read on...

Intensive Test Practice Takes Over the Classroom

Posted on Friday May 21, 2010

Intensive test practice took over the classroom in the lead-up to the NAPLAN tests. It came at the expense of time spent on other curriculum areas not subject to testing and time spent on deeper learning skills. >> Read on...

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