FIVE-YEAR-OLD children will be tested for basic reading skills twice a year under a national plan to help struggling students.
Describing the current state of early childhood and kindergarten education as “a mess”, Education Minister Brendan Nelson said the literacy tests would provide parents with results while their children were still identifying words and developing reading skills.
Pre-empting a national literacy report to be released soon, Dr Nelson backed the investigation’s recommendation of a national testing regime for under-8s.
“When a child comes into the system, you have got to have some idea of what their reading skills may be,” he told The Weekend Australian. “How is a teacher to know who to concentrate on? You worry about them all but you’ve surely got to identify the ones you have got to start from scratch on.”
This is insane stuff, really, and could only come out of the mouth of an anally retentive bureaucrat/politician with a mechanistic industrial model of education like Brendan Nelson. Mister Gradgrind, eat your heart out! It is also insulting to every early education teacher in Australia, who are trained and experienced to recognise what is happening with their charges and what their potential/problems might be in ways far more accurate and sensitive than any test Brendan-babe might think appropriate.