Statement from Resistance, socialist youth organisation.
Resistance calls on high school students to boycott the NAPLAN tests next week. While the Australian Education Union (AEU) has backed down on their plan to not administer the tests, the government agreement with the AEU is a potentially empty gesture.
It does not ensure an end to the publishing of league-table style results. The outcome was simply a promise for dialogue to look at the concerns raised.
Indeed, there are no government plans to review any content of the My School website or make any changes to the NAPLAN test or the way it is reported.
Visit the Resistance website to download the "No league tables!" petition and "Boycott the NAPLAN tests" leaflet.
“The tests should not go ahead without a guarantee that the data will not be published, data which will potentially be turned into damaging league tables”, said Lauren Carroll Harris, Sydney Resistance member. “If teachers will not ensure this then students will have to!
“This is not about transparency. We know from experiences in countries like England that, far from improving education, league tables stigmatise schools in poorer areas, in many cases leading to reduced funding and resources or schools closing down. They widen the gap between wealthy schools and disadvantaged ones.
“League tables label some students, schools and communities as losers. Naming and shaming schools doesn’t deal with the reasons why some schools perform better than others. A school in an area with lots of students from non-English speaking backgrounds could be a fantastic school but will struggle to compete with a private school in a wealthy area.
“This sort of ranking gives no explanation of the inequalities in funding that each school has to work with. It ignores the fact that the federal government gives more money to private schools than it does to public ones.”
Duncan Roden, member of Sydney Resistance added: “The publishing of data forces teachers to teach to a test, and subjects like art, music, sport and languages get neglected. This distorts the education of students in the pursuit of a higher mark.
“Now is the time for students and the progressive community across Australia to stand together, for an educational future for all, not just the rich!"