NEW proposal for all year one students to undergo national tests in reading and maths.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham wants to see students screened in a “light touch” test to better detect kids with learning difficulties, reported SMH.
While many schools assess students in the first year of school to pick up developmental issues, there is no nationally consistent process.
“The first time we have any national assessment is in year three [with the NAPLAN test],” Dr Buckingham said. “Year three is actually very late to intervene if there is a problem.”
The report calls for screening of basic literacy and numeracy skills “around the middle” of the second year of schooling.
The literacy component would focus on “phonics” or decoding words, which Dr Buckingham said was a strong predictor of later reading ability.
The numeracy component would focus on “number sense” and “position/location”. Dr Buckingham said students might be asked a question like, “here are five objects, can you add two more?” Or to show an understanding of how things fit on a grid.
The report says the testing should be done in a one-on-one setting, with a teacher the child knows. Students would give oral answers, which teachers would plug into an online app that could deliver results quickly to schools and parents.
All up, Dr Buckingham said the testing would take between 10 and 15 minutes.
Senator Birmingham said the tests would mean students “don’t slip through the cracks”.
“These skills checks are not expected to be a confronting test but rather a light touch assessment that ensures teachers, parents and schools know at the earliest possible stage if children aren’t picking up reading or counting skills as quickly as they should, enabling them to intervene rapidly.” Read more on it here.
The responses are mixed
– “That is so stupid , that’s what they go to school for is to learn all these things.
Their going to school younger and younger, now you’re trying to take away every bit of them just being babies and toddlers.
They need love and guidance not stupid tests. Give them a chance to learn. Some are able to do it quicker and some aren’t. There’s enough Bullying in schools now without it starting at that age ( I’m smarter than you ) and they will say it .”
– “Omg that’s ridiculous. Why do they need to do a test , they are 6!”
– “For god’s sake. They are kids no older than 6. They have to learn yet. Leave them alone to be kids.”
– “No way! As an early childhood teacher I completely disagree. Children are put under too much pressure too early on with all the tests they want to gather data. A good teacher would already know exactly where all their children are at without this added pressure at such a young age!”
– “No!!! Ridiculous. There is already too much pressure on our children. Plus testing research is finding it’s not actually improving student learning which is what we need.”
– “No take the pressure of the kids!”
– “Stop pressuring kids!”
Others believe it is a necessity.
– “This is a 5-10 minute screen administered by the classroom teacher, it is not a high stakes test. This screen is vital for early identification of children at risk of learning difficulties so we can provide them with the early intervention they need!”
– “Isn’t this a good thing though ? Early detection and then more support ?”
– “If they had done this when my son was in grade one, we would have picked up on his Dyslexia and early intervention could have been applied. So frustrating.”
Do you think it is the best age to pick up on any learning difficulties?
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