This week, Queensland Premier Anna Palaszczuk and Education Minister Kate Jones announced a significant change to the state’s curriculum with a shift to external assessments for senior students following the decision to crap Overall Position (OP) scores.
The new system will see Year 12 students undertaking four pieces of assessment in each subject as of 2019, with three school-based assessments and one external test, which would be set and marked by QCAA.
The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) has already drafted a universal test that would count for 25 percent of results in many subjects, but in science and maths-based subjects it would account for 50 percent.
According to Ms Jones, the weighting of the tests across various subjects resulted from widespread consultation.
“This is all about ensuring that parents, students and teachers have confidence in the senior assessment process. That’s why this journey was started and I’m very proud that this Government is taking it forward,” she said.
However, not everyone is happy with the higher weighting for the external test in some subjects, with a spokesperson for the Queensland Teachers Union (QTU), Sam Pidgeon labelling the change as introducing ‘high-stakes assessment’.
“We think that turns one assessment item out of four into a high-stakes assessment item. We think that will lead to increased stress, particularly for students taking a big load of maths and science subjects,” she told The Courier Mail.