A Quick Question About ACER

I’ve written very little about the Australian Council for Educational Research (weird italics in the original). I recently whacked some nonsense from ACER’s CEO, Geoff Masters, and of course there was the gender madness, courtesy of some clown at ACER’s UK offshoot. I also have another ACER-related post in the works, but mostly I’ve left them alone. As I wrote in the preamble to whacking Masters,

Unlike VCAA and ACARA, for example, ACER has not appeared to be omnipresently idiotic. For the most part ACER just professionally goes about its business, quietly screwing things up.

I’m thinking, however, that that’s too easy. And so, the question:

Does ACER ever do anything other than quietly screw things up? Has ACER ever contributed anything of genuine pedagogical value and/or containing genuine insight?

Actually, I know the answer to be “yes”. I know of one ACER publication of genuine value. But only one. Which suggests a strike rate of about 1/1000000. Is it any higher than that?

14 Replies to “A Quick Question About ACER”

  1. ACER has led the development of Progressive Assessment Tests (PAT) in Australia. Its publication “PAT Essentials” consists of six booklets dealing with various aspects of PAT. These publications are well written and helpful to teachers like me who are new to using PAT. I have read 4 of the 6 booklets and have found them valuable in my teaching.

  2. Does proving the obvious count?

    For example, last month (Feb, 2024) they published a paper showing that IB students were better prepared for university than students of other high school qualifications.

    Something IB teachers (and probably first year university lecturers/tutors) have known for a long time.

    1. Did they happen to mention *why* such students were better prepared? That is, did they happen to mention that IB is good and solid and, for instance, VCE is not?

      1. As with many research papers, they outlined a number of reasons but did not bash the VCE much, if at all.

        I didn’t learn anything from reading the paper, so… not sure it counts as “genuine insight”.

        1. Well, unless you give me some solid reason to look, I’ll assume the paper simply states some, and not all, of the obvious, and we’re still at 1/1000000.

  3. I clicked on a FB link (pretty sure it was ACER) about behaviour management resources. I glanced at page (dense with text) and it was a lot about positive actions and relationships (which are very beneficial but certainly not sufficient). I did a Ctrl-F Find on the page for “consequence” but nothing came up so I shut the page down.

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