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Articles on Tests

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If you want to improve science education, standardised science literacy tests is not the way to go. Test image from

NAPLAN science tests unlikely to improve science education

The federal Labor government’s proposal to expand the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) franchise and include science literacy is not a surprising move. Once national testing…
Sorting high achieving students from their peers may be sending the wrong message. AAP/Dean Lewins

Our obsession with ‘natural’ talent is harming students

Results released from a major Victorian study on student learning show high achieving children’s performance in tests is “flat-lining”. The study, by Professor Patrick Griffin, followed 36,000 students…
Two new international reports on school performance should be put into perspective. Education image from

Are we headed for an educational disaster? Hardly

The recent release of Australia’s performance in the TIMMS (2011) and PIRLS (2011) test results has sparked much media comment about what this means for the quality of Australian education. The focus so…
The latest results of international testing in maths, science and reading means Australia’s education outlook does not look good. Test image from

Latest tests show PM’s 2025 education goal is in doubt

Prime Minister Julia Gillard in September set an ambitious goal for Australian education: to be ranked as a top-five country in reading, mathematics and science by 2025. Clearly she is hoping to lift Australia…
There’s been plenty of attention on NAPLAN testing this week, but ACARA’s Barry McGaw argues there needn’t be. Test image from

NAPLAN myths: it’s not a high-stakes test

There has been much controversy this week over a study released by the Whitlam Institute claiming that NAPLAN testing is being treated as a high-stakes program that is causing unnecessary stress among…
Literacy and numeracy tests are having a negative impact on Australian students. Test image from

Testing the test: NAPLAN makes for stressed kids and a narrow curriculum

NAPLAN tests – the literacy and numeracy tests given to primary and secondary students – are causing health problems and promoting a culture of “teaching to the test”. A national study released today surveyed…
A new review of international studies shows up to 62% of lab tests and 36% of radiology tests aren’t reviewed by doctors. It is believed the rate may be similar in Australia. Waiting room image from

Medical test results – why no news doesn’t mean good news

In health care, communication can be a matter of life or death. Take the case of an American woman diagnosed with a blood clot in her leg. She died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism the following day, while…
What’s the real effect of NAPLAN testing? AAP Image/Paul Miller

Anxious kids not learning: the real effects of NAPLAN

Australian teachers are not convinced that NAPLAN improves the reading and maths skills of students. Over the next week, NAPLAN results will be arriving at students’ homes around Australia. But new research…
Bad NAPLAN results can lead parents to seek help, but which learning programs can they trust? Test image from

Nasty NAPLAN results: what should parents do next?

The latest NAPLAN results have arrived, and soon enough thousands of Australian parents will tear open the envelope containing their child’s NAPLAN results. They will be faced with a series of graphs that…
Looking to Asian schools is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. Chalkboard image

Our Asian schooling infatuation: the problem of PISA envy

It was fun while it lasted Finland, but we’re going cold on you. We thought your schools had the secret but our new infatuation is with Asian school systems. The Prime Minister seems to agree. The government…
The NAPLAN tests are about getting the best results for students. Flickr/Elizabeth Albert

Don’t boycott NAPLAN! Turning our back skews good data

A small but vocal group is calling on parents to withdraw their children from the National Assessment Program: Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests. But if this call is successful and enough children are…

Test spots golden staph infections faster

Researchers have developed a faster and more effective method of detecting Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph) infections…

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