Coffs teachers stick to NAPLAN ban

COFFS Coast teachers will not be supervising national numeracy and literacy in our schools’ tests this term, with the Australian Education Union voting to stick to their boycott.

The AEU decided to boycott the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests after it was revealed the results would be used on the Federal Government’s controversial My School website.

After a disappointing meeting with Minister for Education Julia Gillard on Wednesday, the AEU decided to stick to their decision to boycott the tests, citing concerns the site’s comparisons of schools’ performances create tables that didn’t take into account wider social conditions and made struggling schools worse.

“She rejected a proposal for a working party to establish a resolution,” AEU federal president Angelo Gavrielatos told AAP.

“Teachers cannot hand out a test when we know the results will be misused to brand students and schools as failures in league tables.”

Confrontations are looming around the country with industrial umpires in Queensland and NSW directing teachers to lift the ban and WA set to follow suit.

But the AEU has not agreed to lift its ban.

Ms Gillard said she would not negotiate on the contents of My School.

“I’ve got a very strongly held view that I’ve acted on, that transparency and more information is vital to improving education in this country,” she said.

“Parents want it - parents have voted with their fingertips - the nation needs it and My School enables us to identify the best performing schools and share that best practice, identify underperforming schools and lift up their standards.”

She said she wanted the union to lift its ban, but the tests would go ahead regardless.

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