Teachers unclear on test-ban

PARENTS and students at Clarence Valley government schools will find out today whether or not their teachers will implement and supervise the controversial NAPLAN tests that were due to take place on May 11-13.

The NSW Teachers’ Federation executive was due to meet last night in Sydney to vote on whether NSW would join the national education union in lifting the moratorium previously imposed.

Following discussions between the Australian Education Union (AEU) and the government, the AEU decided to drop its plans to boycott the NAPLAN tests following notice of ‘the government’s commitment (among other things) to ensuring that educational disadvantage is addressed and an opposition to the misuse of student performance data including simplistic league tables’.

Students at Maclean High School were this week sent home with a letter advising parents that the teachers at the school would not be supervising or implementing the tests, despite principals and teachers receiving a formal direction to do so by the Director-General of the NSW Department of Education.

Mother of three children currently enrolled in the NSW Education system, Tracey-Ann Burnett, was disgusted by the letter sent home on Wednesday night with her Year 9 Maclean High School daughter that told parents that ‘although it was a difficult decision for educators to undermine the decision of a democratically elected government, in the end they have to put their concerns about the negative impact of the My School website on their student’s educational opportunities above’ (these decisions).

“My children should not have to be used in this fight, as they are the innocent students trying to get an education, which testing is an important part of,” Ms Burnett said. “I am sure other parents also feel that the school should not be involving students in a political fight.”

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