Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Students begin sitting national tests

One million school students will sit Australia's first national standardised tests this morning, amid concerns about the system.

Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard says students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will sit the literacy and numeracy tests over the next three days. This morning's first test is writing.

The new test means parents will be able to get information they have never had before about how their child is performing.

But some state governments are concerned the results will be used to determine funding arrangements, and Education Union president Angelo Gavrielatos is worried it could lower education standards.

"In other countries such as the US and the UK, where they've introduced such mass standardised testing, we've seen the overall educational outcomes of students compromised," he said.


Students to watch simulated road smash

The NRMA says a driver education forum involving a simulated road crash has helped change the behaviour of young drivers. Twelve thousand Year 10 students from New South Wales and the ACT will attend the Youth and Road Trauma Forum in Sydney over the next three days.

The forum is a joint initiative involving the NRMA, Westmead Hospital and Sydney West Area Health Service. NRMA president Alan Evans says the forum is about demonstrating that road crashes can happen easily and have lifelong consequences. "What the students will be seeing is four young people in a car texting on a mobile phone and trying to show the driver," he said.

"They're then involved in a collision with another user and, as a consequence of that, a number of people are killed and seriously injured. "They'll see how the various emergency service operate and interact."

Mr Evans says it is the third time the forum has been held. "We've been following up their reactions immediately after and then subsequently," he said. "It really does stick in their minds and it does really have a significant impact on them, such that it does alter their behaviour when they get behind the wheel of a car".

Principals agree: cut out social subjects
"The curriculum is far too crowded and we know from our research that not all schools can do what is being asked of them," she said. "The social responsibilities being placed on primary schools are ever increasing, taking time and resources away from our core business

No comments: