A national 2002 survey of the state of languages learning made the point that the attitudes and expectations of parents and families help form those of students and are a key element in the success of school languages programs. In 2006 ACSSO and APC commissioned Solved at McConchie Pty Ltd to conduct a national survey of parent and student attitudes ‘ and also to compare and contrast these with the attitudes of teachers, principals, education bureaucrats and tertiary language instructors. A national discussion paper was released in April 2007 for comment, and the final Report was published, with a range of recommendations, in June 2007.
In 2005 the Asia Education Foundation in partnership with ACSSO and APC, commissioned Solved at McConchie Pty Ltd to undertake a scoping study to explore the views of members of the executive members of both ACSSO and APC in relation to a variety of issues bearing upon the studies of Asia in schools. Because the executive members of both organisations form an extensive network of people drawn from all areas of Australia, they form a representative national “focus group” for the purpose of exploring their views in ways that can assist in developing initial strategies aimed at promoting informed awareness of the importance of Asian studies.
The national debate around the purpose, methods and relevance of assessing and reporting on student achievement has been rumbling on for decades right down to the present day, is currently right back on the agenda and doubtless will continue into the future.
ACSSO and APC, with funding support from the Australian Government, conducted extensive and ground breaking research into the needs, expectations and priorities of parents and families right across the country, in 1995-1996.
The published Report established a set of key principles which should underpin, shape and form the processes of assessment and reporting.
Because of the cyclical nature of the national debate, that framework of principles still reflects the viewpoint of most parents, the the ground covered by the Report remains valid and useful.
Similarly, when the national debate was again ignited in 2003, ACSSO clearly restated its position on the appropriate nature and purpose of assessment and reporting in An Open Letter to the Minister for Education”. That document effectively operates as an “appendix” to the 1996 Report, developing some of those points in greater detail.
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