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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?

From 2008 primary students will be assessed against state standards in: English-literacy; Mathematics-numeracy; Science; Society and History. Health and Wellbeing; and the Arts will be assessed by a comment based on judgement of progress being made. Teachers will monitor ICT progress across the years with state assessment by a skills check at year 6.

From 2008 secondary students will be assessed against state standards in: English-literacy; Mathematics-numeracy; Science; Society and History; Health and Wellbeing; and the Arts. Vocational and Applied learning will be assessed by teacher comment based on progress being made. Teachers will monitor ICT progress across the years with state assessment by a skills check at year 10.

For senior secondary courses for use in years 11 and 12 TQA uses the term standards to describe the different levels of achievement needed for ratings of A, B or C against specific assessment criteria in a course.

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

In year 11/12 TQA courses standards are described in terms for each of 10 assessment criteria, with multiple descriptors and sources of evidence. A criterion is the general statement of achievement such as:

"Demonstrate an awareness of social and ethical issues of computer use".

The descriptors explain the levels of performance of the achievement such as:

A Can understand, explain and evaluate differing points of view;
B Can justify opinions formed; and
C Can discuss and form opinions on social and ethical issues.

The sources of evidence describe the behavior that must be exhibited for the particular performance level, e.g. for the A descriptor above, the sources of evidence are:

  • independently research a topical information technology issus related to units studied and provide balanced argument for and against the issue;
  • understand the wide spread use of personal data and issues of personal privacy;
  • understand the issues of intellectual ownership and copyright;
  • understand image enhancement and the integrity of the information the image conveys.

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

There is a great deal of work being done on reinterpreting the data that has come out of the national literacy benchmarks. Essentially the sampling methodology and analysis that has been used in the past is flawed. More valid methodology used in interpreting data is able to establish the factors determining student achievement with much greater reliability. This work is still embargoed until later this year, as it will challenge a number of current beliefs.

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