The restructuring of senior secondary education in the Australian Capital Territory

  • Douglas Morgan

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    In January, 1974, the Interim ACT Schools Authority assumed responsibility for pre, primary and secondary schools in the Australian Capital Territory. It took steps to provide a basis for the restructuring of secondary education. The traditional six-year comprehensive high school was to be replaced in 1976 by a four-year high school and a two-year secondary college. The Interim Authority decided that each school should be responsible for its own curriculum which should not be constrained by an external examination. A system of course development and teacher assessment, to replace the New South Wales Higher School Certificate syllabuses and examination, was developed during 1974. The Interim Authority sought the advice of the Australian Council for Educational Research, and a report prepared by it was used to stimulate public debate. After considering a wide cross section of points of view the Interim Authority decided that accredited courses would replace syllabuses, teacher assessments, the examination and profile reports the Certificate. The ACT Schools Accrediting Agency, a committee of the Interim Authority, was formed in 1975 to administer accrediting assessment and reporting. The Accrediting Agency negotiated the basis for tertiary entrance for ACT students. It determined that a single aggregate score, the Tertiary Entrance Score, should be calculated, using aggregated scaled teacher assessments. Scores from three major and one minor accredited-TES courses scaled by the Australian Scholastic Aptitude Test total score would be aggregated. A system-wide order of merit would be created. The maximum aggregate score would be 360. The basis for the aggregate was very different from that which it was replacing. In New South Wales, five subject scores with a possible maximum of 900 was used. An examination of a number of comparison and correlation studies presented in Part B indicates that ASAT scaling of teacher estimates improves the correlation of teacher estimates with the Higher School Certificate examination aggregate scores. Some correlations between ASAT-scaled criteria and HSC aggregates are in the order of 0.9. As is expected some movement away from what was acceptable in 1975 occurred. When examined in the light of the philosophy of school responsibility for curriculum and assessment the procedures adopted certainly facilitate this, while at the same time produce students' results which can be used as confidently as external examination results have been.
    Date of Award1976
    Original languageEnglish

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