2018 was a mixed bag for schooling policy in Australia, with new ministers, a new organisation and auspicious anniversaries. It’s worth reflecting on the year that’s been.
School education in Australia is generally good, but it should be better.
Girls are encouraged more often to read, despite performing better in reading assessments nationally and internationally. Here's how parents and educators can help connect boys with books.
The current debate about comparability would be more concerning if 2018 results showed radically different trends compared to previous years, but they don’t.
Much of the controversy over the delay in this year's NAPLAN data comes down to its misuse and a misunderstanding of statistical comparability.
Early shared reading is linked to a number of benefits for children, including better performance in NAPLAN, reading, writing, spelling, grammar and mathematics.
To assess problem-solving, creative and critical thinking skills on NAPLAN would fit with broader movements in education internationally, but there are some questions to address first.
Literacy and numeracy can be assessed through creative tasks, like creating a drama performance or an electrical circuit, without hindering creativity.
Getting rid of NAPLAN would allow teachers more time to respond to and address the needs of their students, rather than teaching to the test.
While we may need to rethink how we use NAPLAN, it is an important and useful tool for researchers and policy makers.
Assessments need to be relevant to the real world and test more complex skills to better predict competency, standards of literacy and teaching.
Students from the Philippines, China and India consistently achieve better results at school than their Australian-born counterparts. This is due to a number of factors, including parents' values.
Moving away from direct instruction and teaching to the test and towards making sure boys enjoy reading will improve outcomes.
Using equivalent year levels provides us with a clearer picture of the gap for Indigenous students, who can be up to an equivalent of 7.7 years behind their non-Indigenous counterparts in writing.
The year 2017 is finally coming to an end, so here's a wrap of our coverage for the year, with bonus quiz!
The results are in, and student achievement on NAPLAN has plateaued in literacy and numeracy, with some areas of improvement.
The results of an international study into reading skills offer reason for optimism for Australian students. But tragically, too many children are still being left behind.
Standardised tests are a powerful tool for building an evidence base of what works to guide education policy.
Standardised tests restrict how well students with disability can do, which reinforces the idea that there are things they can't do that children without disability can.
If we fail to recognise that standardised tests are metro-centric, we will continue to produce disadvantage for rural students.