Western Australian Education Minister Liz Constable has announced an expert review of the State's curriculum, assessment and reporting policies and procedures. The review will be headed by Professor David Andrich from the University of Western Australia. The terms of reference for the review are: to review the Curriculum Framework for curriculum, assessment and reporting purposes in schools, with particular reference to kindergarten to Year 10; to advise on the relationship between the Curriculum Framework and proposed national curriculum; and to consider the impact of any proposed changes on teachers and schools in Western Australia. The report is due to be completed by the middle of this year. See Minister's media statement 11 March 2009.
The New South Wales Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, has launched the State's new Public Education Foundation. The not-for-profit foundation will establish links with industry, commerce and the community to fund scholarships targeted at students who face financial hardship or other obstacles to learning. See Minister's media statement 9 March 2009.
New Australian Government funding for trade training centres in schools has been welcomed by State and Territory governments. See media releases from the governments of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania this week.
The peak childcare industry organisation, Childcare Queensland, has called on the Queensland Government to reconsider its plan to spend $300 million on new kindergartens by 2014, arguing that the funds should instead go towards the employment of a second full-time teacher in each preparatory year classroom. See article in the Brisbane Times 9 March 2009.
A new report from the USA's Brookings Institution has found serious flaws in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The report concludes that the test should not be used as a benchmark for State assessments in the USA. The report claims that, in its methods to measure students' scientific knowledge, PISA makes 'unwarranted leaps between student attitudes and academic performance'. See Brookings Institution media release 25 February 2009.
The Northern Territory Government has announced that its new Electronic Student Profile system will allow parents to view their children's homework, assignments and school attendance records. The AEU NT branch has criticised the measure on the grounds that it does not address the underlying causes of student absenteeism. See media release 9 March 2009 from Northern Territory Education Minister and Chief Minister Paul Henderson and report on ABC News 11 March 2009.
The West Australian Government has attracted some of Tasmania's best teaching graduates under a lucrative scholarship program, according to a report on ABC News 11 March 2009.