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Another salvo in senior school assessment debate

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 11 February 2015

The letter shown in the post below this attracted three letters in response in The Courier-Mail of Tuesday 10 February. A little to my surprise, the paper published my riposte as shown below on the following day, Wednesday 11 February, 2015. Underlined words were deleted. The paper's heading was "School assessment views misinterpreted".

I think that the difference in meaning between misinterpret and misrepresent is quite interesting in this context.

Misrepresentation in school assessment debate

I suggest it is telling that respondents to my letter on school assessment (C-M, Feb 9) felt a need to misrepresent what I wrote.

Professor Peter Ridd (Letters, Feb 10) implies that I said that "only internal assessment is tolerable". In fact, I wrote that "if the Core Skills Test is to be abandoned, it would be appropriate to substitute an alternative external assessment".

Tempe Harvey (also Letters, Feb 10) claims that I want "external assessment limited to pet topics favoured by bureaucrats". My letter said nothing at all about topics but focused instead on the conditions under which students would demonstrate their learning.

An important issue not touched on by any of these letters is that part of the previous government's response to the review of senior assessment was that some of the proposed new procedures be trialled in maths and science subjects. It is imperative that any trial also involves some humanities and social science subjects as well. Otherwise, we could end up with a system that does not suit a large chunk of the curriculum.

Garry Collins,Immediate Past President, English Teachers Association of Queensland  

 

Author: Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
Tags: Assessment

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