Review signals possible backward step for Year 12 assessment in Queensland

The review of Senior Assessment and Tertiary Entrance will be the topic of a forum convened by the Queensland branch of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders next Tuesday (24.02.15) for 150 educators.

In what is arguably one of the most significant reviews in Queensland education in recent times, the reviewers have endorsed externally moderated school-based assessment and recommended changes and updating due to the way the system is now operating.

“Queensland teachers’ professionalism, developed and earned over 40 years, is seriously under threat.

“Changes to the current assessment of Year 12 students could unintentionally lead to a return to narrow, high stakes pen and paper external exams, and radically alter Queensland’s school-based assessment culture,” said Norm Hunter, ACEL Queensland Vice President.

The review recommends replacing the Queensland Core Skills Test with one external assessment per subject to contribute 50% of a student’s final result; the other 50% to come from three school-based assessments.

“Conventional external exams force teachers to narrow the curriculum to what can be tested with pen and paper or multiple choice in a 2-3 hour test at the end of a 2 year course,” said Mr Hunter.

Dr Gabrielle Matters, one of the two co-reviewers, will address the forum as a member of a panel.

The forum panel will also include

Corrine McMillan, Principal of Cavendish Road State High School; Geoff Newton, Principal of Hillbrook Anglican School; Ursula Witham-Young, teacher of Japanese and Deputy Principal of St Teresa’s Catholic School; and Professor Merrilyn Goos, mathematics educator at the University of Queensland. The forum will be held at The Auditorium, Cavendish Road State High School at 5.00pm.

The forum will focus on what aspects of the current system should be maintained, and what might be the nature and influence of the proposed external assessment component.

The ACER Report can be found here.

The former Government’s response can be found here.

The Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) gives access to world- class empirical research along with the practical support to achieve excellence in leadership in the education sector.

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