Backdown on teachers' boycott

A BACKDOWN on the boycott of NAPLAN testing by the Australian Education Union has been welcomed by Alstonville Primary School principal Lorraine Bryant.

The announcement that teachers would not stand in the way of next week’s national literacy and numeracy testing was announced yesterday.

“It’s nice it will go ahead without it becoming an issue,” Ms Bryant said.

“It means teachers who want it to go ahead won’t feel alienated.”

Stephanie Hughes, of Main Arm, who has two children at Main Arm Upper Public School, was pleased the boycott had been lifted because the problem was not with the test, but with the My School website on which the test results were published.

“The website is ridiculous,” Mrs Hughes said.

The decision came after Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard offered to form a working party of educational experts – including union representatives – to provide advice on the use of student test results and other indicators of school performance.

“Our focus has always been on trying to ensure the data is not misused in ways that are damaging to students and schools,” union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said.

It is understood the working party will provide a way to adv-ance and address concerns relating to the use test results, including controversial school league tables which allow parents to compare a school’s performance with other schools. The table have been criticised as too simplistic.”

Ms Gillard described the decision as sensible.

“The tests will proceed next week as planned and now without any threat of disruption,” she said.

Testing is due to take place in schools between May 11 and 13.

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