Too many tests give education system a fail mark Bruce McDougall The Daily Telegraph March 30, 2012 SATURATION testing is seriously undermining the quality of primary school education and should be stopped immediately, parents and educators claimed yesterday.
Thousands of kids are subjected to trial exams every week in the lead up to the compulsory Naplan tests, as well as exams for opportunity classes or selective high schools, and coaching by private tutors.
What do people think about the arguments being made by Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, education researcher and government official with the Finnish Ministry of Education in this piece from Lateline on February 28, 2012?
Fears for disabled students as funding overhauled Anna Patty March 28, 2012
THE O'Farrell government has been accused of putting the budget bottom line ahead of the state's most vulnerable children. Faced with a steep increase in the number of students with disabilities needing support in public schools, particularly those with autism and mental health problems, the government will fund only individual students with serious disorders. They will continue to receive $6000 or more in individual funding while other students will be supported by an increase in general funding to the school.
There is a growing body of research into the benefits for both teachers and students of teacher collaboration. While there is plenty of evidence to suggest the value of weekly time set aside within the school timetable for teachers to plan together, the reality in many schools means that this rarely happens. An online forum of teachers can, in some ways, improve this situation.
Lower turnover rates among beginning teachers in schools with mentoring programs that emphasise collegial support
Greater personal satisfaction among teachers when they believe in their own efficacy, were involved in decision making and established strong collegial relationships
Moral support - strengthens resolve, permits vulnerabilities to be shared and aired
Increased efficiency - responsibilities are shared therefore collaboration reduces or removes duplication of similar tasks
Evidence to suggest that teacher collaboration improves instructional practices (pedagogy) and encourages the development of a greater diversity of teaching strategies