Thursday, 7 August 2008

Students finishing school 'without basic skills'

A leading education researcher is calling for national education standards to be imposed, saying that many students finish high school lacking basic reading and writing skills.

Professor Geoff Masters from the Council for Educational Research says minimum literacy and numeracy standards should be implemented across Australia.

He says most students can complete 13 years of school and be awarded a senior certificate without having to demonstrate that they have met minimum standards in areas including literacy and numeracy.

Professor Masters says the national minimum standards should be set after the issue is debated nationally.

In New South Wales the head of the Board of Studies, Dr John Bennett, says students are tested regularly in literacy and numeracy and he will not accept a national system which dilutes the the state's standards.

"Any moves for a national curriculum or national standards and so forth we'll look at closely, but they would have to be an improvement on what we have currently got," he said.

"In New South Wales, students are tested in literacy and numeracy in years three, five, seven and nine and they're also tested in the School Certificate in English, Mathematics, Science, History and Geography, Civics and Citizenship and Computing skills."

"All of these tests clearly show the standards students have achieved."

Quote: If students are leaving school without basic skills then swap Citizenship with Social Responsibilities, Communication and Conflict Resolution. That will help them with literacy and keep them out of jail.

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