Standardised Testing Within Australian Education

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EEB425 – Reflecting on Professional Practice: Assessment & Reporting Assessment Item 1
Critical Issue Essay

“Assessment is a method for analysing and describing student learning outcomes or program achievement of objectives” (Assessment services, 2011). A form of Assessment is standardised testing. This kind of test is used to “measure the performance of a group against that of a larger group” (assessment services, 2011). Standardized tests are often used in large-scale assessment projects, where the overall results of the group are more important than specific data on each individual client. Standardised Testing within Australian education has become an important and controversial issue since the introduction of the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in 2008, and even more so with the introduction of the “MySchool” website in January, 2010 (ACARA, 2011). With the increasing use of Standardised testing being used to assess students in schools and rank schools based on the results, some critics have begun to speak out about the flaws that they see with standardised testing (Ewing, 2010, p.65). While this type of testing is not a new concept, the issues regarding publication of the test results are. When viewing standardised testing form those who have invested interest, such as parents, teachers, the school body and community as well as the governmental and various political stakeholders it is obvious that testing has a place in our education system (Assessment services, 2011). Standardised tests can be a valuable education tool, providing a basic measure to see how children are performing in relation to their peers and other children from other schools. However, concerns have been raised about how heavily they are relied on for feedback about student performance. Most critics of standardized tests care very much about children and the education that they receive, but feel that standardized tests alone cannot accurately convey...
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