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    These is my log of professional, political and sometimes personal thoughts and observations. I am Bettina Walter, a Senior Information Architect (IA), Interaction Designer and Usability Professional.
    I am co-owner of PunkLogic.

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    Interaction Design

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A Queensland Mum’s Rant!


This letter was handed out to parents at our primary school.

My daughter had taken these tests Anna Bligh refers to last year. She did very well and the teacher had skilfully protected the children as much as she could from the stress it could have potentially injected. This was the teacher’s achievement, and I was grateful for it. Generally me and other mums found the testing process itself still disruptive to learning and also hard wearing on my 8 year old.

Some comments from our Mum’s mailing list to the letter above were:

E. said
Was anyone else horrified by the Anna Bligh letter re our children’s education and the testing which went out to grade 3,5, 7???

A. said:
Wow – I hadn’t seen it before.  What the??  … Is she saying that passing the test is paramount and requires rote-learning/practice…. as opposed to the more obvious strategy of lifting our standard of education overall through best practice teaching and appropriate funding??
Way too much emphasis on one bloody test… it obviously reflects poorly on the government and they are trying to cheat their way out of the bottom ranks through scare mongering.

H. said:
I don’t think there is much I can add to this except – I concur.
I was most put out with the letter E., was wondering if I was the only one.  C’s teacher has pointed out that it is now in May where it used to be in August, putting even more pressure on the kids and teachers, as they have less time to cover the ‘stuff’ to be tested.

my thoughts:

Improve test results with more testing – BRILLIANT IDEA! It gives the message that we don’t really want to improve standards in numeracy and literacy,  we just want students to get better at being tested, so we use school time to run same tests more often.
It’s  like trying to reduce teenage pregnancy by dishing out more pregnancy test kits.
Whatever happened to the idea of an education system aiding the forming of well-rounded, creative and truly educated citizens? Showing our children how to learn, how to investigate, how to be creative, how to find REAL SOLUTIONS to problems creatively instead of running more mind numbing test procedures.

The tone of voice of THE LETTER itself makes me feel like putting on a dunce hat and standing in a corner!
…’I was disappointed with the overall results’…
Well Mrs. Bligh, I am not happy with your attitude! I’d like to have you and Professor Masters take theses tests a few time in a row, just to see if it advances your growth in any way at all.

But you know what takes the biscuit for me as a Web usbility professional??
Follow Anne’s link and tell me where the booklet is.
Mrs. Bligh couldn’t ‘arrange’ for an easy to find link, or a search field or even arrange to include a DIRECT LINK to the booklets in her letter … ok – poor usability on government websites regularly gets my goat… BUT STILL!!
( I followed ‘Assessment Bank’ on a hunch and found it – but considerate, helpful or polite this ain’t!!)




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