City Observer Newsletter 09, October 2014

The Queensland government’s Minister for Education commissioned the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) that has its Head Office in Melbourne, to review Queensland’s OP tertiary education ranking system for Year 12 students. The ACER Review has concluded some very significant “Recommendations”, numbering twenty three in total. Possibly the most immediately significant is that the only current statewide assessment for all Year 12 students, the Qld Core Skills Test (QCST), “…would be discontinued”. It will be replaced by statewide examinations for every Year 12 subject and these will cover the full year’s course content, following on from the skills development work in those fields studied in Year 11. A timeline for the introduction of this major change has not been offered by ACER, preferring decisions regarding the implementation of their Recommendations to be with the Qld government, or its operational arm, the Qld Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA). Currently the QCST is used to compare all students’ 49 common “Core Skills” and if a school’s students perform above or below the state average, this result is used to raise or lower the comparative final result, the OP 1 to 25, for each student school by school. The proposed full course examination will have this same comparative effect since all students in Qld taking a particular subject will be examined in identical conditions and time.

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