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Scrapping OP score passes the QCEC test

THE Church’s education leaders in Queensland agree “the time is right to replace the OP score and QCS test mechanisms” for students graduating from high school.

Queensland Catholic Education Commission executive director Mike Byrne made the comment in response to the State Government’s proposed changes for senior assessment and tertiary education reform.

Following a review of the Queensland assessment system by the Australian Council for Educational Research, the Government is proposing to abolish the OP (Overall Position) system and the QCS (Queensland Core Skills) test in favour of a new form of assessment for senior high school students. In a statement, Mr Byrne said while the QCEC was broadly supportive of the directions proposed, teachers and school authorities must continue to be closely consulted as details were considered.

“A model incorporating elements of both school-based and external assessment as proposed will provide a sound basis for the future,” he said.

“We believe that both forms of assessment should provide appropriate input into a final subject result and that one form of assessment should not be seen as more valid than another.”

Mr Byrne said a structured, well-resourced professional development program to assist teachers should also be a key feature of any new model.

“The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority should be adequately resourced to take the lead in implementing the new model with a strong focus on supporting the teaching profession,” he said.

Mr Byrne said schooling authorities must be part of decision-making processes with universities, and the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre, to derive a tertiary admissions rank from senior subject results.

“We welcome the proposed establishment of a Ministerial Tertiary Entrance Taskforce with representation from schooling sectors to develop an understanding of the flow-on effects between tertiary selection and senior schooling,” he said.

Mr Byrne said the timeline for the reforms – not to be introduced before 2017 for students entering Year 11 – was pleasing.

“Good education policy always requires good resourcing and adequate lead time,” he said.

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