The Conversation By Stewart Riddle: Article Analysis

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Stewart Riddle argues that: “there is little evidence to suggest that testing teaching students on their literacy and numeracy will have any impact on the quality of teaching and learning in Australian classrooms” (The Conversation, Dec 1, 2015). Is Riddle right? Include at least one argument for literacy and numeracy testing and one argument against literacy and numeracy testing in your answer before evaluating the strongest argument.

Australian Education policy has undertaken a recent change to mandate testing for teaching students prior to their graduation. In his 2015 article for The Conversation, Stewart Riddle argues:” there is little evidence to suggest that testing teaching students on their literacy and numeracy will have any impact
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The four-hour test is comprised of 130 questions, focussed on literacy and numeracy. Answers are to be given in multiple-choice and constructed-response format (Martin, 2015). Results from the trial, sat by 5,000 volunteers, have revealed 92% of student teachers who undertook the trial passed the literacy component, whilst 90% passed the numeracy component. This leaves a small, but apparently significant number of student teachers who are not meeting the government target of literacy and numeracy skills in the top 30% of the population (Board of Studies, Teaching & Educational Standards NSW [BOTSES], 2016 “Literacy and numeracy test for teacher education students, para. 1.).
BOTSES state on their website, “quality teachers are crucial for an overall improvement in student learning outcomes” (2016) – as such, the test is intended to address the gap in literacy and numeracy skills of the small percentage of student teachers who do not meet the same literacy and numeracy standards expected of graduating high school students (Riddle, 2015). Whilst this is just a snapshot of the bigger picture portrayed as a major problem for education standards
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This addresses the concern some may have about poor test performance due to nerves, and will reassure students that it is not their only possible attempt – indeed, it could prove beneficial to some students to acknowledge lower literacy and numeracy skills, as they may then make use of remedial assistance and go on to possess a greater knowledge of how to utilise their skills to best effect in the classroom (Martin, 2015). Proponents of literacy and numeracy testing see the test as a positive vetting of teachers, sorting those with the ability to pass from those without; this with the eventual aim of furthering literacy and numeracy skills in students, which may reflect societal expectations on teachers who are expected to be responsible for the end result of student achievements (Shine,

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