Australasian Conference:End High Stakes Assessment Obsession
September 19 2012
Australasian Conference Calls for End to High Stakes Assessment Obsession
The 1,460 Australian and New Zealand principals attending the Trans-Tasman conference in Melbourne this week today stood unanimously together to put children back at the centre of educational decision-making.
The agreed resolution, read by the New Zealand Principals’ Federation president, Paul Drummond, is as follows:
“The 1460 delegates at the APPA NZPF Trans-Tasman Conference in Melbourne today call upon Governments, School Systems and Funding Authorities involved in Education Reforms in Australia and New Zealand to ensure all of their decisions are in the best interests of schools and students, to ensure the very best educational outcomes for students and made in full consultation with the profession.”
‘It is questionable whether the high stakes environment, including the likelihood of league tables, that we are heading into now will ensure the best educational outcomes for students and not be harmful to their chances of succeeding,’ said Drummond.
‘We should be following the medical profession with their hippocratic oath pledging ‘do no harm’. Educators should follow the same standard and not initiate practices that can cause harm to children,’ he said. ‘This means avoiding high stakes assessment regimes which we know can damage children.’
‘Our education system is currently one of the very best in the world,’ said Drummond. ‘It is a high achieving system because of our individualised learning approach, our rich broad curriculum, our collaborative teaching culture and the close relationships we have with our local communities.’
‘We are the envy of many countries whose experiences warn us not to head down the same high stakes reform path as they have,’ said Drummond.