Friday, 19 February 2010

Politics in a Bubble

Sometimes you have to wonder just how thick and wrapped up in their own spin our politicians are.
Take the case of the turnout to school NAPLAN tests conducted last May, as reported by The Age here. The NAPLAN tests are meant to provide a national tool to estimate just how good school children are at various stages of their school career. Personally, I do not think the connection between the score on these tests and a good education is that strong: it’s one thing to learn for a test and another to receive good education. I clearly remember how quickly we've learned to study for our tests rather than study to know the subject matter during my university days; with all the congestion that comes with the testing season, you stand no other choice.
The current debate concerns student turnout to these NAPLAN tests, with the opposition claiming Victoria’s low turnout is a result of some cover-up aimed at increasing Victoria’s scores. The government, on its side, is answering back with the usual meaningless crap that dominates the output of politicians’ mouths.
I, on the other hand, have just one thing to say: Wasn’t half of Victoria, and school kids in particular, down with Swine Flu last May?


Sarah said...

Don't get me started on the NAPLAN test themselves. I worked on the previous version of the test so have a font of knowledge about this stuff.

The ridiculous thing is using the NAPLAN data to produce the My Schools website as a tool for parents. Basing their ranking system on one set of tests just isn't a fair representation. Saying how good a school is or isn't based on tests over 2 days where kids could have been sick, not slept well, english is a second language or just don't test well isn't a great way of working out if a school is good. You are much better off going to the school and getting a feel for their programs, support offered to extend or help the kids and how happy the staff and parents are. There is no way to put that on a one stop website you can point your finger to and say my child will go there!

As you say you can get schools that teach for the tests but do you want kids that can only rote learn or ones taught to think critically and be able to apply knowledge?

Moshe Reuveni said...

I don't have anything to add, but perhaps it is important for me to state I doubt you can write something with which I'll agree more?

Uri said...

2*X*X - 9*X + 3 = 0