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National testing in Scottish primaries gets the go-ahead as schools bill is passed

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

  2. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Poor children.
    Poor teachers.
    The start of the slippery slope.
    I had always rated Scottish education, too.
  3. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I don't know why this is such a big deal. We've only been a few years without it and the new proposals are for less frequent testing than we used to do.
    Why would we have to learn from "Sats"? The SSLN already create Literacy and Numeracy tests for these stages - presumably these will now be done by entire year groups rather than just a percentage.
  4. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Here's your answer:

    'Liberal Democrat education spokesman Liam McArthur called on ministers to ditch the plans.He raised fears that standardised testing would inevitably lead to school league tables, and said: “I would urge the government to heed the calls of teaching unions, teachers and parents to drop plans for national standardised testing in primary schools.”'

    As soon as whole year groups are tested, the Government has the ammunition to 'rank' schools - and schools are then competing against each other not to be 'bottom' - schools with more challenging pupils in deprived areas end up struggling & condemned by Ofsted - teachers don't want to work in such schools - heads fear for their jobs & put pressure on staff - the curriculum becomes skewed - teachers teach to the test etc, etc.

    It's the start of the slippery slope. You really DON'T want to end up like English primary schools. Standards may have improved (well, test results have), but I really don't think this outcome has been worth the damage done to primary education, to children, to teachers & to schools.

  5. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    You're missing the point. We used to test. We've only stopped for six or seven years. There is no Ofsted. We don't have league tables. Testing will not automatically lead to the ranking/Ofsted driven insanity English schools are forced into.
  6. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    You're right, it won't automatically lead to all that rubbish. But if the data is available, it could. The DfE don't rank schools by test results (or they didn't used to), but newspapers had access to the data, so they did so.

    The real question, I guess, is 'is testing all children the best way to raise standards and lead to an improved education for all children?' If the answer is 'yes', then no problem. But, as has been quoted so often, you don't make a pig fatter by weighing it.
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I think we need some testing, yes. The current situation is mess with some kids never doing any formal assessment until they sit their qualifications at 15 and some not even then. I know in England you seem to have the opposite problem but this will hopefully be a happy medium.

    We currently assess and record progress using classwork and teacher devised assessment which are designed to show if pupils have certain skills - would you like to guess what age group this outcome is aimed at? And also imagine how many possible different versions of what achieving it looks like there could be.

    "By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in an appropriate way for my purpose and use suitable vocabulary for my audience."
  8. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Hmmm - 7 year olds?
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    That's a level 2 outcome which covers (wait for it) what most children will achieve in P4-P7. Some children arrive in Secondary still working at level 2. Now as if that age range wasn't enough, imagine you have thousands of schools assessing that outcome across the country. What's the likelihood that one teacher's idea of "working at level 2" is anything like that of another across the country.

    And that the Scottish educations system without national testing you thought you admired.
  10. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Just wondering if that's any different from when the NC & levels were first introduced into English primary schools. Level 2 was the average for the end of Y2, and Level 4 the average for the end of Y6. So children of different abilities would achieve a specific level across a range of year groups. You would therefore expect most children at the end of Y6 to achieve L4, with a large minority achieving L3 or L5, with some still at L2 or managing L6.

    And, yes, because (for example) a child in Y2 could achieve a L3, as could a child in Y8, it was always difficult to agree on what L3 looked like.

    No problem with testing to add a further layer of evidence, bearing in mind it can only ever be a narrow snapshot. But the problem is the uses to which test results are put and how their high stakes affect the type of education children experience.
  11. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    It's different because you have different levels - we essentially have two different measures for the whole of Primary. Pupils are reported and tracked as either Level 1 or Level 2 for 7 years.

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