Do you think we belong to a fashion driven profession? Well, I do.

At the turn of the millennium my perception was that our profession appeared to have lost its direction and seemed more interested in innovation than improving outcomes.

When Australia’s PISA scores became progressively lower over time, some commentators called upon the profession to act. This graph shows the evidence, comparing Australia’s and Canada’s PISA numeracy scores.

The Australian Government responded by introducing NAPLAN, to improve the professions’ understanding of learning growth. However, at much the same time the fashion of innovation saw portable electronic devices flood into schools assisting the downward spiral of our PISA outcomes.

Co-incident with this, AutoMarque was launched in a bid to reduce teachers’ workload by enabling the school photocopier to do their marking and data entry. More than that, it provided teachers with feedback on the learning growth of each student and the effect size of the teaching that had taken place, empowering teachers in new ways; enabling ‘item analysis’ to reveal the quality of each question and to provide feedback on the statistical reliability of each assessment - a powerful new capability.

The Victorian schools, in the table and graph below, are indicative of the power of AutoMarque. You will see how the growth in student NAPLAN numeracy outcomes is twice that of the next best school in the list. The AutoMarque licenced Government school has less income per student that all the others in the list. The real tragedy however, is that so many of the schools have negative growth, lending support to why our PISA scores have been reducing over time.

Schools need resources that assist teachers to help students grow in their learning and to be able to readily measure it; be it practical, multiple choice or written work. The school in the table below which has the highest income per student, lacked consistent input. This is indicative of teachers not regularly measuring their students and their own productivity. They need the ‘right’ resources to assist them in their everyday teaching!

It should be noted that the AutoMarque licensee improved its NAPLAN results year on year through regular use of pre-test/post-test analysis in its everyday teaching. Being able to mark 30 students work in less than two minutes, means that time can now be spent on improving teaching and assessment preparation.