Home' Teacher : July 2010 Contents EDITORIAL
When a million or so students in Years
3, 5, 7 and 9 sat the National Assessment
Program -- Literacy and Numeracy tests
in May, attention turned to allegations
of cheating. The Adelaide Advertiser
named a teacher from St Leonard's Pri-
ma ry School who was allegedly caught
making changes to Year 7 test answers.
The alleged incident wasn't the only one
to surface in South Australia. According
to SA Education Minister Jay Weatherill,
two other teachers were also investi-
gated, one at Elizabeth Vale Prima ry
School for allegedly providing improper
assista nce to students, the other at
Rostrevor College for allegedly giving
advance notice of a test topic, but neither
teacher was publicly identified, a consid-
eration not provided to the St Leonard's
teacher. The minister was careful to
describe the Elizabeth Vale case as an
'alleged incident' a nd pointed out that,
'It is importa nt to note that this allega-
tion of improper supervision has been
denied.' The St Leonard's teacher was
stood down while the SA Education
Department undertook a full investiga-
tion, but before that had been com-
pleted, Weatherill described the alleged
incident to the Advertiser as a 'gross
breach of professionalism.' In a prepared
statement, he advised that, 'The teacher
admitted the behaviour a nd has been
removed from duty and will be subject
to a disciplinary process.' Since
Weatherill referred to an initial investi-
gation and his department's full and
continuing investigation, it's fair to ask
whether that initial investigation offered
the teacher in question due process.
Weatherill said there was nothing to sug-
gest cheating is widespread. Fair enough,
in the absence of evidence to the con-
trary, but the cases, and the way they've
been ha ndled, do more tha n redefine the
meaning of 'high-stakes' testing. T
4 TEACHER JUNE/JULY 2010
Number of school students enrolled in
vocational education and training
(VET) in schools in 2008: 219,900.
Number of school-based apprentices and
Number enrolled in other VET in schools
Percentage of VET in schools students
undertaking a senior secondary certifi-
cate: 41 per cent.
Percentage in major cities: 54.8 per cent.
In larger regional hubs: 24.3 per cent.
In outer regional areas: 15.7 per cent.
In remote areas: 2.8 per cent.
In very remote areas: 1.7 per cent.
Percentage of VET in schools students
who are Indigenous: 3.5 per cent.
Percentage increase in the total number of
VET in schools students from 2007 to
2008: 25.8 per cent.
In the total number of school-based
apprentices and trainees: 71.9 per cent.
In the total number of students enrolled in
other VET in schools programs: 21.5
Source: Australian Vocational Education and Training
Statistic s: VET in Schools 2008. Adelaide: NCVER.
1. What is Donna Laubli's tip for con-
ducting a quick audit of your school
2. Why do researchers struggle to find
the link between professional learning
and improved student outcomes?
3. Who calls the idea that you're either
'testing' or you're 'teaching' a tempt-
ingly simple dichotomy?
4. Did Mick Wilkinson's article on evolu-
tion generate feedback?
5. What percentage of playground
injuries are caused by falls from play
6. What are the most common injuries?
7. To what parts of the body?
8. Do court decisions suggest we ought
to curb play and sport in schools?
9. Who said, 'We currently have no tar-
geted legislation to adequately address
cyberbullying, and the general law. . .
remains a blunt tool'?
10. At the end of the day, in the fullness of
time, when all's said and done, and the
pies are selling like cakes that are very
hot on account of an offer of 25 per
cent off, what's wrong with clichés?
Answers: 1. walk your school's hallways; 2. because if the effect of the improved instruction takes longer than a year, in most cases
you then have to account for new variables to do with the assignment of students and teachers to particular classes, the effects of
other teachers and the effects of the curriculum; 3. Ralph Saubern; 4. you bet, for and against; 5. 90 per cent, according to research
by Angela Clapperton and Erin Cassell; 6. fractures; 7. forearms and elbows; 8. no, but they suggest schools need to take 'reasonable
precautions' in managing the risks; 9. Tim Longwill; 10. nothing, they're just original phrases that everyone likes.
ADVERTISER OF THE MONTH
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