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Standards and Benchmarking

Standards and Benchmarking

What does your state/territory understand by the terms standards and benchmarking?
How are standards and benchmarks currently applied in your state/territory? (current practice)
Briefly outline the work being done in the area of standards and benchmarking in your state/territory.

What does your state/territory understand by the terms standards and benchmarking?

Benchmarking is defined, in accordance with the MCEETYA Benchmarking Taskforce, as the minimum standard of achievement at a particular year level. This is a critical level of literacy and numeracy without which a student will have difficulty making sufficient progress at school.

How are standards and benchmarks currently applied in your state/territory? (current practice)

In 2000, students in Years 3, 5 and 7 will be assessed against the literacy and numeracy benchmarks, using tests from the Multilevel Assessment Program (MAP), as part of the Department’s strategic plan and for the purpose of national reporting.

The MAP assesses students in years 3, 5 & 7 in a range of knowledge and skills in literacy and numeracy based on outcomes levels 1-5 of the NT English and Mathematics curricula.

We provide the results of individual students against the benchmark to school principals showing the following: achieve/not achieve, exempted or absent. Exempted students are shown as not achieving. No scores are reported.

Principals have the information to report to individual parents (should this be required).

We also provide benchmark data to school councils allowing councils to compare their own school results with those for ‘all NT schools’ and ‘all urban schools’ or ‘all non-urban schools’. The data is further broken down to allow comparison between subgroups: all students; female and male; Indigenous and non-Indigenous; ESL and non-ESL. Results of individual students are not shown in the council reports.

Comparability of results obtained through different state-based assessment programs is ensured through a mechanism established by an expert committee of the Benchmarking Taskforce. This committee comprises independent measurement experts as well as representatives of State and Territory education departments and assessment agencies. We currently have a representative on the Benchmark Equating Steering Committee.

Briefly outline the work being done in the area of standards and benchmarking in your state/territory.

Progress towards national reporting on student achievements in numeracy, reading, writing and spelling, against the Year 3 and Year 5 benchmarks based on 1999 results.

Consultation is currently in progress with government and non-government schools to introduce testing in Year 7 in 2000 on a trial basis in preparation for national reporting probably in 2002 based on 2001 data.

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