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Profiles of learning: the Basic Skills Testing Program in New South Wales: 1989
  • Geoff N Masters, ACER
  • Jan Lokan, ACER
  • Brian Doig, ACER
  • Siek Toon Khoo, ACER
  • John Lindsey, ACER
  • Lynette Robinson, ACER
  • Susan Zammit, ACER

The 1989 Basic Skills Testing Program in New South Wales provides the most comprehensive picture yet compiled of literacy and numeracy learning in Australian primary schools. In 1989, some 53,800 Year 6 students in NSW government schools were tested in five aspects of literacy and numeracy. Another 2,300 Year 3 students took part in a pilot study. This book discusses the writing of the tests, the analysis of results, and the reporting of results to parents, teachers and schools. The aim of the basic skills tests is to describe, in positive terms, the skills that students have mastered, to identify areas in which students have special strengths and weaknesses, and to provide guides to further learning. The picture that emerges from this study is of widespread success in learning. The results point to much good teaching and a fine start in learning for most primary students. But this generally optimistic picture is over shadowed by the performances of some students who have not yet mastered essential Year 6 skills. These students need special help if they are not to fall further behind in their learning. [This work was awarded the U.S. National Council on Measurement in Education Triennial Book Award in 1992 for the dissemination of educational measurement concepts]

Publication Date
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Citation Information
Geoff N Masters, Jan Lokan, Brian Doig, Siek Toon Khoo, et al.. Profiles of learning: the Basic Skills Testing Program in New South Wales: 1989. Hawthorn, Vic(1990)
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