Several things are going on Australia-wide at them moment. Although there has not been an official report from the enquiry on Beginner Reading Instruction, the chair, Ken Rowe, (of Australian Council for Ed. Research) is said to be going to recommend a national scheme for the systematic teaching of phonics. I wonder where they will manufacture this from, and whether it will be trialled before implementation.
That's the bit that will interest RRFers the most.
Another major item is that the Federal Minister has refused funding to the states uless they implement 'plain' reporting to parents, on an ABCDE scale so there can be comparisons made within a class and within the state. WA has agreed to implement this, but it clashes majorly with the newly-minted state report cards whichi nsist on children being levelled in a developmental fashion. The union has said "No' to the ABCDE, but grass roots teachers want rid of the levelling. This a very interesting to watch.
And lest anyone think our federal minister, Brendan Nelson, is an ok bloke because he is in favour of 'back to basics', the third major thing is that against all sensible advice, he is putting a ban on compulsory student union fees, which has a big effect on services, especially in regional areas of WA.
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