Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Standardised testing is contrary to expert advice

"ONE of only two education experts who submitted written evidence to a Scottish Government consultation which led to controversial proposals for the reintroduction of standardised testing in Scottish schools has distanced herself from the policy."

"Sue Ellis, professor of education at Strathclyde University, told CommonSpace that elements of the evidence she gave to the Scottish Government in 2015 in three emails had not been accepted."

"She said: `There are certainly aspects of my advice that were not accepted`."

"She also added that there should be more sources supplying evidence to Scottish Government consultation processes: `In Scotland we also tend to generate ideas from different sources and no academic should sit in an ivory tower - that system teaches academic humility if nothing else`."

"`It's all about what's going to be useful to parents, teachers and local authorities,` she said."

"Last year, CommonSpace broke the news that the written part of the Scottish Government’s consultation was made up of just four emails, three from Ellis and one from Professor Louise Hayward of Glasgow University."

"The consultation was meant to inform government policy aimed at closing the gap in performance between Scotland’s poorest and most well-off students, and decided on the reintroduction of standardised tests across Scotland for pupils in primaries one, five and seven and the third year of secondary school."

"The plans for standardised testing, launched last September as part of the Scottish Government’s National Education Framework, have come in for criticism from teaching unions, who fear that they will have a detrimental impact on children’s education and could ultimately result in school league tables."

"Ellis’ comments come after a freedom of information (FoI) request by education writer and campaigner James McEnaney was upheld by the Scottish Information Commissioner after a year-long attempt by the Scottish Government to keep the consultation process secret."

"Ellis’ recommendations include that the testing not be based on the Curriculum for Excellence, the Scottish curriculum introduced in 2010-11, and that they not include a written element. However, official procurement documents for the standardised testing system show that the tests will be based on CfE, and that a written element will be included."

"Bill Boyd, a literacy consultant and former English teacher said: `It seems quite clear from what little evidence we have that the government had already made up its mind on national testing, based on goodness knows what, since all the evidence from countries which have relied on these tests has been negative`."

"Scottish Labour education spokesperson Iain Gray said: `It is incredible that in the very week Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney paraded education ‘advisers’ flown in from all over the world, we discover that their key education policy was made up on the basis of almost no educational advice or research at all. Indeed, the government’s national standardised assessment policy, always shambolic, is now revealed to be contrary to the limited advice they did receive`."

Read more

No comments:

Post a Comment