Or maybe we should have titled the post Springtime for Shitler. Whatever. The Productivity Commission has come out with its Final Report on the National School Reform Agreement. We made a submission, and we remarked upon the Interim Report, and so we feel obligated to write something now. But our heart isn’t in it. (And since there’s little else here, readers may as well enjoy the song.)
Our submission was narrow, concerned only with the NSRA’s reliance upon ACARA’s Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia and, in turn, the “mathematics” of the MFSA being predominantly based upon NAPLAN and PISA. We thought it worth pointing out that, given NAPLAN and PISA are nonsense, the MFSA must consequently also be nonsense. The PC, of course, paid no attention.
Chapter 9 of the Report is concerned with the Measurement Framework, and some trivial concerns are expressed. Finding 9.1 reads,
The Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia is not appropriate for measuring progress on National School Reform Agreement outcomes.
Well, yeah. But the proper starting point is that the MFSA is not appropriate for measuring anything. So, sure, following on from Finding 9.1 there are some recommendations for ACARA to identify “key performance measures” and whatnot, for the purposes of the NSRA. But any suggestion that ACARA might want to throw out NAPLAN and instead test some maths was evidently too radical.
Elsewhere in the Report, there’s other stuff. Greg Ashman seems to think there are some small wins. Yay.