Is it time to throw a spanner into the Sats tests machine?

24th April 2009 at 01:00

The essence of the debate about whether or not to have Sats pertains to the broader issue of the Government's mistrust of teacher judgment.

Should we not therefore be looking at research that has focused on the use of assessment to develop children as learners and to enable reporting of that progress to be accessible, transparent and evidenced?

Work of that nature has been undertaken by the Centre for Formative Assessment, focusing on analysis of pupils' work, their learning contexts and behaviour. This enables specific teaching strategies to be planned to address children's learning needs. Wasn't this the intention of the revised primary framework in 2006? Or did nobody notice because that document did not mention tests, test preparation, booster classes and cohort percentage targets?

Isn't it time we had an informed national debate on this crucial issue of the integration of teaching, learning and assessment?

Professor Bill Boyle, Chair of educational assessment, School of Education, Manchester University.

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