Bookmarked
This call for a ‘review’ has sparked a range of responses. One of the focuses seems to be strip the curriculum ‘back to basics’. I am interested in Professor Geoff Masters role in leading the review:

The NSW Education Standards Authority would engage Professor Geoff Masters from the Australian Council for Education Research to lead the review.

He said the review would look at implementation issues and look for ways to declutter and simplify the curriculum.source

Time will tell what this review will actually provide. As a Victorian, it is interesting to watch from afar.

Listened Gonski 2.0 - what would these changes mean? from ABC Radio

The Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools discusses a model that gives children personalised teaching based on their ability and achievements, rather than grouping children together according to their age.

On Focus, Nadia sets out to find out exactly what personalised learning is, how it works and what its benefits - or shortcomings - might be.

She speaks to Professor Geoff Masters, CEO of the Australian Council for Educational Research, who outlines the shortcomings in our current system and the alarming decline in the performance of 15-year-olds compared to students in other countries.

Dr Glenn Savage, senior lecturer in Public Policy and Sociology of Education at the University of Western Australia agrees that while there is a definite decline in the achievement of Australian students compared to their international peers, he is more sceptical about the recommendations made in Gonski 2.0.

He says there are better things to be spending our education dollars on than another big overhaul of the Australian education system.

He also believes several changes over the past few years have not helped stem the decline and we still have not tackled the issues of inequitable access to education funding that were identified by the first Gonski report.

Glenn Savage and Geoff Masters talk with Nadia Mitsopoulos about the new Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. Some of the points discussed include:

  • Does the new report addresses the question of inequality?
  • Is ‘personalised teaching’ worth the money and investment?
  • Is the educational sector exhausted by continual reform agendas?
  • Do the recommendations really address what is happening in the classroom?

Glenn Savage also summarised his thoughts in a post on The Conversation. While Geoff Masters (and Ray Adams) published a post in the ACER Newsletter addressing the question of ‘inequality’ arguing that recent findings have found that equity and fairness are often more important.

In an ‘equitable’ school system, students’ special needs and unequal socioeconomic backgrounds are recognised and resources (for example, teaching expertise) are distributed unequally in an attempt to redress disadvantage due to personal and social circumstances. Here again, ‘equity’ is achieved by prioritising fairness over equality.source

Checked into Ongoing Reporting Collective - 2018 Day Two
I attended a day recently looking into ongoing reporting. It included a presentation from Hilary Hollingsworth from ACER discussing her work with the Centre for Assessment Reform and Innovation. She discussed their focus on exploring new thinking relating to communicating growth, as well as possible alternatives to traditional reporting. ACER’s areas of interest are the existing policies, existing electronic systems, existing practices, the alignment with teaching and learning, what works and what stakeholders actually need. The method involves a desk review, collection of artefacts and scoping commerical tools. The intent is to design a map of possibilities, rather than a single ideal reporting solution.
Bookmarked Does the old school report have a future? (Australian Council for Educational Research - ACER)
When considering the utility and purpose of student reports, it is important to distinguish what it is exactly that teachers are asked to report. The words ‘achievement’ and ‘progress’ are often used interchangeably in student reports and conflated to mean the same thing. Indeed they are highly related concepts; it is often through tracking one’s achievements that a sense of one’s progress can be measured. However, if achievement is taken only to mean the grades, scores or marks received on summative assessment tasks, then progress often appears only to mean whether the child’s standard of achievement (their grades) is improving, maintaining or declining. Where progress is understood differently – to mean ‘increasing “proficiency” reflected in more extensive knowledge, deeper understandings and higher-level skills within a domain of learning’ (Masters, 2017) – an emphasis only on reporting achievement on summative assessments would give very little sense of a child’s progress from where they began.
Hilary Hollingsworth and Jonathan Heard provide some background to student reporting in Australia. One of the challenges that they highlight is the difference between progress and achievement. I have a long history with reporting, one challenge not addressed in this post are the constraints put in place by the platforms and providers of the reporting packages. It would seem that ongoing reporting provides more flexibility. My question is what the future of biannual and ongoing reporting?