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SATs Boycott 2011

Discussion in 'Assessment' started by dave3758, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. I have just seen a letter form the National Association of Headteachers to its' members calling off any boycott of SATs for 2011. Why? Because they fall "Hook, line and sinker" from a letter by Michael Gove promosing a review of the assesment system in the future. How can they possibly fall for this? SATs were wrong in 2010 and will still be wrong in 2011 and beyond.
    If Heads had made more determined efforts to rid our educational system of these stupid tests we still wouldn't be having this debate. By offering to work with the new Government they are making the abolition of SATs a political debate when it's an educational one!
    Did our educational system collapse because of last years boycott? Were children disadvantaged who didn't take part in the SATs - of course not. When is the penny finally going to drop that SATs were and always have been a waste of time (oh and the Govenments ears may ***** up with this next word) money!

     
  2. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    <font size="2">Believe it or not, I'd no longer say what I'm going to say in any other forum. However, as this is the Assessment one and as you might be interested, dave, I'll pont out that SATs are tests for university entrance. If the NAHT tried to boycott them, they'd look rather silly.</font><font size="2">You'll mean national curriculum tests, of course and you're using the nickname "sats", which for some reason the "TES" (like the tabloids) spells "Sats" and so implies that it's not just idle slang. If you ask anyone who marks them, they'll tell you that the other name for them is "NCTs" (as you might expect).</font><font size="2">(Teachers were promised standard assessment tasks at the beginning of the national curriculum but they didn't last long and they weren't test papers anyway. NCTs are not the same thing with a different name although some would have you believe that they are.)</font> So, theTES "Jargonbuster" tells only a partial truth when it says: NCTPreviously known and still mainly referred to as Sats, these are tests taken by children at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to test pupils&rsquo; ability in Maths and English
     
  3. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Sorry! Forgot that you have to do something to keep the paragraphing when you cut and paste on here.
     
  4. mikeshaw

    mikeshaw Administrator Staff Member

    Any other views on the lack of a boycott of the ... erm.... national curriculum tests?
    All the best,
    Michael
    michael.shaw@tes.co.uk

     
  5. NicoleK

    NicoleK New commenter

    Glad you said that, Markuss! I hate the use of "Sats". I am always greeted with a chorus of "What about the Sats?" at the end of my Year 2 parent meeting each September. It forces me to say "You know the bit where I told you about the end of key stage 1 tests and how we do them in February and show you what they could and couldn't do at parents' evening? Yeah, that was the Sats."

    Anyway, it doesn't surprise me that they've decided not to boycott them as I think they are giving Michael Gove a chance to present his proposed changes. Once he has, however, I think they will be in full favour of boycotting at the nearest available opportunity. They are absolutely delusional if they think what comes next will be better. The Conservatives love testing and league tables, strongly dislike teacher assessment and have promised "more rigorous" assessment at the end of key stage 2. I can only imagine what that might mean.
     
  6. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Can't help wondering why the Heads don't take a different tack. They (on the whole) quite like tests, even national ones. Last year lots of "terminal" tests happened even in boycotting schools. If they didn't open the 2010 NCT packets, they used another year's ones.
    So why doesn't NAHT canvass members not on a boycott but on just not going OTT with the tests.
    E.g. couldn't they agree to tell the truth - that Sats finished years ago and no child in any school will be doing them.
    E.g. wherever possible, administer the tests in the children's usual classroom with just the usual teacher/assistants there.
    E.g. don't let the test distort the curriculum in Y6.
    E.g. don't show children any past papers until, say a week before NCTs happen.
    E.g. tell the children that the TA is 50% of the end of key stage result - and is really more important.
    E.g. (again, just being truthful) let it be known that the result of one junior school test will have no lasting effect on the future happiness or educational/employment prospects of anyone.
     
  7. Hate to be the harbiger of bad news but there is going to be an increase in national testing. The current regime have already announcing a new national reading test for age 6, suggested resurrecting an 11+ type of test at the end of KS2 and are likely to reintroduce a formalised national test at end of KS1.

    This new way will make the old SaTs tests seem like the Salad Days.
     
  8. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    The BBC reports:
    "New "readiness to progress" measures will be introduced at ages five and 11 to ensure children have the required skills to move on to the next stage of schooling."
    Not very euphonious, is it, "readiness to progress" ? Bit of a vile phrase, really.
    "RTPs" for all?
     
  9. I cannot undertand this nonsense. As a teacher you are an employee. Do as you are told.
    If the government says adminster SATS, then do so. If you want to do it resign. Go and find another job. If you want to be a teacher, you do not decide what you will and will not do.
    What next, boycott GCSE and "A" level exams as well?
    Nobody forces you to be a teacher. If you act like a spoilt brat and boycott SATS what example do you provide to the children?
    How would you like it if a child said he was not going to listen to you.
    Learn.... Teacher listens to boss and does as told. Child listens to teacher and does as told.
    Simple!
    Parents want SATS. Lazy teachers do not want SATS as they may be shown up.
    If a school boycotts SATS the score will be 0% and it should be classed as a failing school. Chnage the management.
    Funding should be cut from the school.
     
  10. cherrypicker, I'm interested to know more about your background.
    I'm a secondary school teacher and a parent and with neither of my hats on do I 'want' NCTs/SATs.
    And as for lazy teachers preferring not to do these tests I would question this. Having taught for KS3 tests, they actually allow teachers to be more lazy, not less. There is no creativity involved in training (not teaching) pupils to pass a test and so there is less enjoyment, but also less rigorous work, in planning lessons for them - you're told EXACTLY what to train them on and have MONTHS to do it in most schools. They get marked by an outside agent, so less marking. If the kids don't do well, teachers have blamed - the weather, the questions in the test, the extracts used, the fact that little Johnny doesn't do well in test conditions etc. etc. etc. I would definitely question the perspective that a teacher assessed level at the end of a key stage is better for lazy teachers. Teachers do get quality assured; they don't just make figures up out of thin air having sat around drinking coffee for 9 months.
    As a teacher of year 7 students, we often find that pupils coming in with a level 5 from their KS2 tests are, in fact, nowhere near this level when working independently, so I'm afraid we don't set much stall by their usefulness.
    So, I'm not sure who is really in favour of these tests aside from the people who get paid for marking them.
    This 'readiness to progress' idea sounds very frightening. Are children going to be held back, a la USA, if they're not ready to progress? I know many of our year 11 pupils who would still be sitting on tiny chairs, drinking a third of a pint milk a day and earning golden time for being good if this were the case!
     
  11. I remember doing my year 6 Sats at primary school. We had revision books that had Sats revision book on the front. My year 6 teacher made us all cut it off and told us the name Sats was a load of rubbish to try and scare us all and that all they were for was to help our secondary schools put us in to sets and even then they would move us if we were in the wrong one within the first half term.

    It was the most carefree thing we ever did and my friends and I all came out with results we deserved without ever worrying about it.
     
  12. I have to say I got a level 5 in my SATs in year 6 and stil had a level 5 when I did my Sats in year 9 so that is a very fair point.
     
  13. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    How would that improve the situation?
     
  14. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Oh, oh 612692, and no one's ever told you the truth before! Fact is, you didn't do either SATs or Sats. (Which do you believe? Surely not both?) Why do teachers perpetuate this rubbish?
    And didn't they ever tell you that the Teacher's Assessment is based on years' of evidence and therefore may be a bit more valid than the result of a one off class test set and marked by strangers? Do you even know what your TAs were?
     

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