ACT to reject $30m in Commonwealth Education funding

Jazz 1 August 2007 26

It seems that the ACT Government is set to reject $30 Million in Commonwealth education funding because, in Andrew Barr’s words “current system of continuous assessment is best for students.”

I would have thought a decision of that magnitude would have at least involved the formation of a committee (in true govt form) to consider the Commonwealths proposal of streamlining the ACT system with the rest of Australia.

However like many other Commonwealth initiatives at the moment this could be just another pre-election stunt by the incumbent Federal Govt. What do you think?

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26 Responses to ACT to reject $30m in Commonwealth Education funding
emd emd 1:23 pm 02 Aug 07

I heard a 666 caller this morning make a very valid point: that tertiary institutions are accepting foreign students from a wide range of educational backgrounds, and those students are generally doing well here. So why do we need to standardise testing for Australian students wanting to go to the same tertiary institutions?

I reckon this is just another Federal pre-election stunt. Because if the Labor state/Territory govt’s say no, they can blame all our problems on our belligerant state education Ministers. Look at the pattern: the Murray-Darling water management, indigenous communities, and now education. Oh yeah, and Abbott just last week said he wouldn’t discuss the health agreements with state Ministers til after the next election because he can’t work with them during an election campaign. It’s just the arrogant Federal govt trying to tell the States/Territories to play it their way, or they’ll take their bat & ball and go home.

Thumper Thumper 9:54 am 02 Aug 07


Love it…

hairy nosed wombat hairy nosed wombat 9:43 am 02 Aug 07

Sorry guys (and girls) but you should Never, Ever, trust the spell checker on your Word Processor program to pick up all your typos. if you do not believe me, run this poem through it!

The Spell Checker

Eye halve a spelling chequer.
It came with my pea sea.
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss takes eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a miss ache is maid
It noose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt 8:53 am 02 Aug 07

A few interesting points here. Firstly, when I did the HSC it was based on both continuous assessment AND final exam/moderation. Both sets of marks contributed to your final score (and almost equally, I think). To say there is no continual assessment is simply incorrect. Secondly, doing one of the more intense undrgrad courses offered locally (Engineering), it was noted by many that the interstate students performed better due to having more exam experience. I noticed a number of the ACT students who fell into traps we learnt about years before in terms of exam technique, because they simply hadn’t had the practice.

Of course, whether or not hard core exams are a good way of examining learning is another argument altogether.

I am all for nationalising the education system. Why should we (as a nation) be paying for multiple sets of people in the various education departments who are trying, largely, to achieve the same thing? Better to get one set of people, resource them really well, and then expect a high quality outcome. Use the leftover resources to assist schools with local issues.

chester chester 10:45 pm 01 Aug 07

Word still doesn’t spell check as you type? Goodness gracious me. LOL

asp asp 7:27 pm 01 Aug 07

I was listening to 666 this morning, where I first heard about this. They said the Libs support this and had Dunn on raving about how good a test like the HSC would be.

Guess I won’t be voting Liberal at the next election.

I don’t much like Barr, but good on him for standing up to the feds and doing whats right for Canberrans.

“The one problem I have found in my employment is the number of applications I receive for jobs where the person simply has no idea about spelling or grammar.” Hmm, also says something about their IT skills. All you need to do is hit F7 in MS Word to do a spell check, that should fix most spelling and gramatical errors, even if some words end up in American english.

caf caf 6:37 pm 01 Aug 07

By the way, it seems that Queensland also has continuous assessment for years 11 and 12 (see here).

See Mumble for an analysis that would firmly peg this as an election stunt (“governments need to pick fights to win elections”).

sepi sepi 5:13 pm 01 Aug 07

I support the ACT system too.

The HSC is a massive stress, and fairly pointless when studies have shown that students from the ACT system do better at settling into the university system as they are already practised at being self-starters.

Thumper grammar and spelling should be taught in primary school, not the HSC. If people haven’t got it by then they are not going to.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 4:30 pm 01 Aug 07

Caf, I stand corrected…

caf caf 3:53 pm 01 Aug 07

I would like to point out that the ACT system does have external moderation, via the AST (as it was called when I went through the system anyway; it may be known by another name now) which is used to scale results from different schools to a standardised base.

Thumper Thumper 3:30 pm 01 Aug 07

I should add that I too am a strong believer in the ACT system as opposed to the matriculation system, having been through both.

Well, year 11 in the Victorian sytem and Year 12 in ACT.

The one problem I have found in my employment is the number of applications I receive for jobs where the person simply has no idea about spelling or grammar.

For that reason I’d like to see certain benchmarks or testing at certain levels of schooling.

Thumper Thumper 3:28 pm 01 Aug 07

Fair call….

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 3:25 pm 01 Aug 07

Perhaps I should be clearer – I don’t necessarily agree with him. I just respect that he’s willing to make a decision, make it clear that he is the person making it, and letting voters hold him to account come election time rather than hiding behind public servants.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 3:23 pm 01 Aug 07

We need more action-oriented politicians like Mr Barr who are willing to take a stand on important issues in their portfolios rather than leaving it all to “clean hands” decision-making by committee.

huwr huwr 2:43 pm 01 Aug 07

I’m glad they’re not accepting the HSC. It’s a bizarre system. Not having continuous assessment means that subjects are taught towards exams, and teaching towards exams compromisises the flexibility of the education.

The ACT system is neat and we should keep it. Having an education system devised by education experts (and not by politicians, as sugested by previous comments) is a huge advantage the ACT has. I’d like to see systems like the ACT’s implemented in other states.

Thumper Thumper 2:27 pm 01 Aug 07

Barr wasn’t so full of bravado when the Commonwealth offered ACT schools up to $150K each for infrastructure funding.

Maybe that was because it showed how run down and under funded those schools were.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 2:15 pm 01 Aug 07

Yeah, good on you Andrew for standing up to the Feds: we’re not going to let them assess our schools (or our hospitals!) so we really can find out how shite Stanhope and Co really are!

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 2:06 pm 01 Aug 07

The funds were linked to external assessment for senior students, not to comply with a national curriculum.

The basic form of an external HSC/QCS type exam is present in every state and the NT. The ACT is the only one to not adopt the process of external moderation for its senior students. The real danger in not adopting external moderation is the distortion of weighted results that come out of some schools. The ACT has been exceptionally belligerent in introducing basic education reform that will bring students on par with the rest of the nation. Unfortunately this is the product of having an education system that is run by a hoarde of brown cardigan wearing Freierian Marxists.

The concept of a national curriculum is now a given, with both the Libs and Labor saying that they will develop a national curriculum framework for core subject areas that will be linked to federal funding.

Shiny Flu Shiny Flu 1:45 pm 01 Aug 07

Shiny Flu – seems your comment was lost in our brief outage. copied below – Jazz

By accepting the ‘generous’ grant, we’d be subjecting ourselves to a curriculum purely devised by the Liberal party- not a collective of independent educators. Not taking sides- for the purpose of this ‘ere comment -but I believe balance is best.

caf caf 11:55 am 01 Aug 07

I’m glad Barr is standing up for the ACT college system, I’m a strong believer in it; and either way it should be a decision for our local representatives, not the Federal Government.

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