The use of national literacy and numeracy tests to create league tables for Australian schools is dividing educators and the nation. Do parents have a “right to know” or are we just laying the boot into already struggling schools?

Here’s what the media and pundits are saying this morning:

The straight stories

The Australian
Teachers face pay being docked over tests boycott
:

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has refused to rule out supporting action against teachers if they go through with their threat to boycott the tests, saying industrial action taken outside the enterprise bargaining period is not lawful.

Herald Sun
Plan to give better information on schools sets stage for battle between Deputy PM Julia Gillard and education unions

Ms Gillard refused to rule out a bitter industrial fight. “I will do everything I need to do to ensure that this school transparency takes effect,” she said.

The Daily Telegraph
Principal benefit in school league tables
:

Some principals believe NAPLAN results should be published so parents can make informed choices.

In the state’s northwest, new Nyngan High School principal Chad Bliss said parents needed access to data about their children’s school.

The Age
Pyne backs principal power
:

A Coalition government would make future Commonwealth schools funding conditional on states and territories giving principals greater autonomy, Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne said yesterday.

The colour:

The Australian
Ban on school testing ‘no solution’
:

The principal of Ringwood Secondary College, in Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs, says the tests, in conjunction with teacher judgment and other internal assessment, have become invaluable in the way the school structures student learning.

The commentary:

Sydney Morning Herald, editorial
A test of schools and governments
:

Underperforming schools have slipped under the radar for too long, at their students’ expense. The AEU’s fears about misleading, damaging and demoralising league tables – while legitimate if schools are inappropriately compared – should not distract anyone from the grim reality of failing schools.

Gold Coast Bulletin, editorial
Naplan: it’s not all about teachers
:

Naplan is a way for Queensland parents to objectively assess their children’s progress against students in other schools, which — whether teachers like it or not — is the only way they can judge how teachers are teaching their child. Teachers are terrified of this development, wrongly we believe.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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