A Dog of a Qcat: Collateral Effects of Mandated English Assessment in the Torres Strait

Beryl Exley
2010 The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education  
AbstractThis paper critiques a 2008 Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) assessment initiative known as Queensland Comparable Assessment Tasks, or QCATs. The rhetoric is that these centrally devised assessment tasks will provide information about how well students can apply what they know, understand and can do in different contexts (QSA, 2009). The QCATs are described as "authentic, performance based assessment" that involves a "meaningful problem", "emphasises critical thinking and reasoning"
more » ... ng and reasoning" and "provides students with every opportunity to do their best work" (QSA, 2009). From my viewpoint as a teacher, I detail my professional concerns with implementing the 2008 middle primary English QCAT in one case study Torres Strait Islander community. Specifically I ask "QCATs: Comparable with what?" and "QCATs: Whose authentic assessment?" I predict the possible collateral effects of implementing this English assessment in this remote Indigenous community, concluding, rather than being an example of quality assessment, colloquially speaking, it is nothing more than a "dog".
doi:10.1375/s1326011100000879 fatcat:a62f42cuwzb5rkcgwtc7gmhvqm