Standardised testing ‘regressive’ warns RISE

Written by Tom Freeman on 27 October 2015 in News

Left-wing alliance says international evidence doesn't back up government plans for standardised primary testing 

Plans to introduce standardised testing in Scottish primary schools are regressive, according to a new report by the left-wing alliance RISE (Respect, Independence, Socialism, Environmentalism).

In the report, Placing Our Trust in the Teaching Profession: the case against national standardised testing, RISE warns the Scottish Government plans are not supported by international evidence.

National Standardised Testing would be “a regressive and deeply damaging system” said a spokesman, and will “almost certainly result in a range of damaging unintended consequences such as school league tables and the further entrenchment of educational inequality in Scotland.”


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Teaching unions EIS and SSTA have issued warnings about the plans, with EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan telling a radio interview he was sure the First Minister was "not advocating a return to the failed high-stakes testing regime of the past".

However in examining the plans, a RISE spokesman said: “Despite the progressive language, these proposals are in reality a throwback to the rejected Thatcherite education policies of the 1990s - policies which failed then and will fail now.”

The report, led by Commonspace writer James McEnaney, says Australia’s National assessments introduced in 2008 are “strikingly similar” to the Scottish proposal, highlighting research which indicated they led to teaching to the test and a narrowing curriculum, both of which trade unions have warned against in Scotland. It also said a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which the Government had cited actually bolstered the evidence against standardised testing

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