Home >  Blog >  School choice

School choice

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 2 May 2015

A version of the following letter was published in The Courier-Mail on Saturday 2 May 2015. It was submitted in response to an opinion piece that had appeared in the previous day's edition. Underlined words were deleted and bracketed ones were inserted. The paper's heading was "MySchool and NAPLAN fail to give parents best advice on education".

School choice

David Gillespie provides (provided) sound advice (in his opinion pice, C-M, May 1) when he writes (said) that schools that genuinely add value to student learning are better choices than prestigious ones with slick marketing campaigns that fail to do this ("Find school that adds value", Opinion, May 1).

He recommends (recommended) using the MySchool website to identify such schools. There are, however, a couple of problems.

First, is that the NAPLAN tests report single-point-in-time performance on only a narrow slice of the whole school curriculum.

Then, if the perceived "value adding" school is not nearby, students will be contributing to traffic congestion and overcrowding on public transport. In addition, we would have a healthier nation if more students walked or rode bikes to school and for that to be viable, schools need to be relatively close to home.

Gillespie also reminds (reminded) us that NAPLAN results are often misused in inappropriate league tables.

With this set of problems, NAPLAN and MySchool are probably not worth what they cost the taxpayer. This has been reported to be $10 million annually but ACARA is not forthright about the amount. Could this be because they fear it would not stand up to a proper cost-benefit analysis?

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: Discussions

Post comment

Upcoming Events

James Cook University presents

JCU will present Digital Storytelling @ JCU, a Professional Development Workshop on Saturday 4th May, 2019 from 9:00 - 1:00 at James Cook University. Associate Professor Ryan Cordell (Northeastern University, Boston) will join us via videolink to discuss innovatirve teaching methods that use both new and old media to better enga...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 4th May 2019
Venue:   James Cook University
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


May Masterclass 2019: Ready, set ... mark!

May Masterclass: Ready, set ... mark The May Masterclass will be held at University of Queensland, St Lucia  on 18th May, 2019 for the full day - 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. This event will focus on task design, moderation, quality assessment, and assessment and standards for years 7-10. The program is available here now and reg...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 18th May 2019
Venue:   University of Queensland
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000
Email Enquiries:   trish.purcell@bigpond.com


State Conference 2019

State Conference will be held on 17th August 2019 at Lourdes Hill College,Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne. Bronwyn Lea, UQ will present a keynote address on the value of  poetry in the new curriculum landscape. Second keynote  to be confirmed. As usual there will be a huge range of practical and inspirational workshops for you to ...

Category:   State Conference
Start Time:   1:00 PM
Date:   Saturday 17th August 2019
Venue:   Lourdes Hill School
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000


View all

Latest News

 

View all

Blog Feed

Editor of Words'Worth - Expression of interest

Oct 04 2017
Words'Worth is the journal of The Englis...

Grammar myths

Sep 12 2017
An edited version of the letter below was pu...
Read all

Testimonials

Read All

This is the first time I have been to an ETAQ conference and it was really sensational to get so much at all of the sessions.

ETAQ conferences always have sessions that make me excited to be a teacher.

I know that ETAQ conferences in the past have never disappointed - valuable, relevant, practical, inspiring so I came again.

Read All

Newsletter

Receive updates
from ETAQ

PO Box 3375, STAFFORD,
Queensland, Australia, 4053
(07) 3284 3718
ABN: 17 689 278 512

Connect to a great range of people who are passionate about English and have their finger on the pulse.

Be Connected