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Stanhope logic on schools

By johnboy 8 August 2006 13

Our Dear Leader is angrily rebutting claims by the Greens’ Deb Foskey that schools to be closed are underperforming academically.

The logic he uses to “prove” this however suggests a man under some pressure:

“I assume that the Canberra Times reporter responsible for promulgating this false report at least made the effort to ask Dr Foskey for some corroborating evidence for her allegation that the Functional and Strategic Review had drawn up a ‘hit list’ of schools for closure based on literacy and numeracy results. I know for a fact that the reporter in question could have received no joy from that request, because no such evidence exists, and therefore Dr Foskey could not possibly have any such thing in her possession.”

Neatly circular thinking, like a rat in a wheel.

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Stanhope logic on schools
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Roland GRNS 3:18 pm 11 Aug 06

ACTAP results shouldn’t be used to sway school closure decisions, becaus that is not a reasonable way to interpet the scores.

That was our point.

Mr Stanhope has chosen to accentuate a common misunderstanding of those scores in order to attack the messenger.

That is the unfortunate – although predictable – thing.

miz 7:45 am 11 Aug 06

Nyssa thanks for your assurances and insights.

In my son’s case they were advised about the need for calculators the day before and my son was ill that day. Yes he should have had it anyway I suppose. I guess I’m annoyed though that the teachers knew and did nothing: they asked the kids to raise their hand if they didn’t have one, and the handful who didn’t just got a lecture along the lines of ‘that’s just not good enough year 9’.

Big Al, it’s not a pass/fail test.

nyssa76 10:30 pm 10 Aug 06

Big Al you’re full of shit. Level playing field my arse – when you have schools copying the tests to use as “practice” tests the following year (which they are NOT meant to do) and they “top” ACTAP each year, where’s the level playing field?

miz, he could have asked the maths faculty – they always have spares.

Plus, at our school we had students swapping with the Yr 7’s (Yr 9’s were before the Yr 7’s) and then give them back etc.

However, all students would have been advised as to what days they would need a calculator for. ACTAP isn’t the be all end all – despite the Govt’s BS.

One test out of four won’t harm him. Besides, it’s only a “snap shot” not the final exam.

Big Al 10:03 pm 10 Aug 06

Diddums! A level playing filed means that he shouldn’t get any special treatment – if he’s not smart enough to remember his calculator for an exam, then he’s not likely to have the wherewithal to pass it in the first place.

miz 10:00 pm 10 Aug 06

Update on ACTAP 2006 – a fair portion of the Yr 9 maths test requires a calculator for part thereof. My son and several others in his cohort did not have one to use in the test (my son’s was at home, the silly clever-clogs). The students were not offered one for use in the exam.

My point is that there is rarely a level playing field in these things. There are so many variables that to use results of ACTAP to sway major decisions like school closures simply defies logic.

nyssa76 6:58 pm 09 Aug 06

Here’s a story in the Australian re: merger of CIT and UC:,20867,20061922-14981,00.html

nyssa76 7:40 am 09 Aug 06

As could the fact that several ACT Govt schools photocopy the ACTAP papers and use them the following year for practice months BEFORE ACTAP.

All ACTAP papers are to be returned. It says nothing about “thou shalt not photocopy”.

miz 10:16 pm 08 Aug 06

Some ACTAP results that were initially on the DET website (and were quickly removed) were inaccurate, eg plain wrong, or included Learning Centre children’s results in the whole-school results, etc.

I (a parent at a bone-pointed school) am not insulted by Ms Foskey’s remarks, and as for Mr S, he ‘doth protest too much, methinks’. He could always prove Deb is wrong and produce the functional review! Oh that’s right, CIC. How convEEEEnient.

There are so many reasons why children at particular schools may not do as ‘well’ in ACTAP as others. Often these reasons have nothing to do with the school, its programs, teaching methodology or staff and should not reflect upon the school as a whole. Rather it is a guide for recognising where support is needed. Often educational support must go hand-in-glove with family/social support. The alleged ‘poor’ (presumably under benchmark? or are we talking league tables?) ACTAP results of these schools indicates that those areas are relatively disadvantaged, and it is certainly no help to go and close the bloomin’ school!

Some personal stuff: I have three children, but only one travels a distance to school. This travel costs me $220 a year in bus passes, which is not chickenfeed to me as a sole parent on a lowly public service wage. If it were three chillun, it’d be bread and dripping all round. And the bus journey is where ‘incidents’ occur repeatedly. It causes no end of stress.

Of course, public schools take all comers, unlike private ones (who can expel, or not admit) and don’t forget the public ones who are able to ‘select’ (or not) out-of-area students at will. Could this have something to do with ACTAP differences???

nyssa76 7:39 pm 08 Aug 06

“I can only imagine the mortification and distress of hundreds of Canberra school children and their families this morning, as they open their copies of the Canberra Times to read Dr Foskey’s utterly false and mischievous allegations about their schools, their teachers and their own ability,” Mr Stanhope said.

I bet they were more mortified to hear that 39 schools were closing.

Unlike the rest of us, Sonic has access to individual schools ACTAP results on a territory basis.

Assessment and Reporting in ACTDET cannot comment on individual school results but they do keep those results to “assist” teaching staff each year (in individual schools) as to where their students “placed”.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he did use ACTAP data – which is only a snapshot of a child on a given day and does not take into consideration their final year grade etc.

Now here in the ACT we are meant to be at the “top” for literacy and numeracy testing. So, if the schools aren’t closing because of ACTAP results, and those who aren’t closing are projected to be under enrolled in 2010, why are the schools closing??????

emd 4:08 pm 08 Aug 06

I reckon this government’s going to be wasted at the polling booths next election. Nothing pisses off voters like messing with health and education. It affects so many people on a personal level, and hopefully they won’t forget about it in a hurry.

Big Al 2:42 pm 08 Aug 06

sorry, that’s “wasted”

Big Al 2:41 pm 08 Aug 06

This just looks like fillibuster … Stanhope could have just said “no” but instead he waterd all that oxygen.

VYBerlinaV8 2:38 pm 08 Aug 06

Of course he doesn’t want to close underperforming schools… he wants to close the high performers. That way the school closures will be in accordance with the ‘screw everything up’ policy.

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