全国学力テスト 全自治体の参加を歓迎したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 30, 2009)
Truly nationwide tests should be welcomed
全国学力テスト 全自治体の参加を歓迎したい(3月30日付・読売社説)

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry's annual nationwide academic achievement exams will finally become deserving of their name next month, when they are conducted for the third time.
 文部科学省の全国学力テストが、3年目でようやく「全国」の名にふさわしいものになる。

The Inuyama Municipal Board of Education in Aichi Prefecture, which had refused to participate in the scholastic ability tests for the past two years, has made an about-face and will take part this year.
 2年連続で不参加だった愛知県犬山市の教育委員会が参加を決めた。

This decision means the next nationwide tests, which are scheduled for April, are expected to be conducted by every local government across the country. The incumbent Inuyama mayor made no secret of his preference for joining the test during his successful campaign for election at the end of 2006. This has helped pave the way for the city to finally participate in the exams.
 これによって、今年4月のテストは、全自治体で実施される見通しだ。テスト参加を選挙で訴えた現市長が2006年末に当選し、今回、参加にこぎつけた。

The nationwide exams test sixth-grade primary school students and third-year middle school students on their knowledge of arithmetic, mathematics and Japanese.
 全国学力テストは小学6年生、中学3年生を対象に国語と算数・数学で行う。

The tests should be conducted regularly and the results carefully dissected so education officials can determine how to improve students' academic abilities. This will be all the more important because the tests will become "nationwide exams" both in name and reality.
名実ともに全国調査になるからこそ継続し、結果を検証して、着実に学力向上へとつなげていかねばならない。

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Useful data awaits

Children who will take the tests in April took part in the country's first nationwide physical test last year. Students' lifestyle habits are surveyed concurrently with both academic and physical tests. These surveys could provide important data on the relationship between lifestyle habits and academic and physical performance.
 4月のテストを受けるのは、昨年、初の全国体力テストの対象となった児童生徒たちである。両テストでは生活習慣調査も実施されており、双方を合わせて分析することが大切だ。

Students who took the first round of scholastic ability tests as sixth-graders at primary school will next year take the tests as third-year middle school students.
 来年は、小6時に受けた子どもが中3としてテストに臨む。

Results of these two tests likely will help the ministry pinpoint how students develop their scholastic abilities by examining what classes they have taken and how they study.
 どんな授業を受け、どういう学習に取り組んできた子どもが、学力を伸ばしたか。

The ministry should compare the test results children get as sixth-grade primary school students with their results as third-year middle school students, to improve education policies and brush up teaching guidelines. Only through such efforts will the tests be able to fulfill their principle purpose.
結果を比較し、教育施策や学習指導の改善に結びつけたい。それでこそ、学力テスト本来の目的にかなうだろう。

Meanwhile, the education ministry's operational procedures for the tests tightened controls on providing data on exam results to relevant organizations.
 文科省の実施要領では、関係機関へのテスト結果提供について、規制を強めている。

However, if the ministry remains unwilling to disclose details of the test results, it will be difficult to reap any benefits from the exams.
 だが、結果の公表に後ろ向きでは全国テストをいかせない。

It is extremely short-sighted to think that disclosing average percentages of correct answers and other data will lead to excessive competition and an obsession with rankings among schools and local governments. We think the ministry is disregarding the wishes of students' guardians and local residents, whose understanding and support are essential for making sure schools are managed smoothly.
 平均正答率などを公表すれば直ちに過度の競争や序列化につながると考えるのは、短絡的すぎる。学校運営に理解や協力を得なければならない保護者、地域住民を軽視してはいないか。

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Benefits already visible

Okinawa Prefecture, which ranked lowest in the achievement tests for two consecutive years, will start a teacher exchange program with Akita Prefecture, which retained its top position in several subjects. Kochi Prefecture, whose middle school students fared poorly in the tests, started promoting reforms to improve its education to the "national level as an initial step."
 2年連続で最下位だった沖縄県は、トップクラスだった秋田県と教員の交流に乗り出す。中学生が下位に低迷した高知県でも、「まず全国水準」を目標に、教育改革を進めている。

These moves would not have gotten off the ground if the results of each prefecture had not been disclosed. We believe test results should be disclosed in more detail by each municipality, although particular care should be taken not to single out schools with a small student roll.
 都道府県別の結果公表がなければこうした動きはなかったろう。市町村別の結果も、小規模校などに配慮しつつ、もっと積極的に公表していくべきではないか。

This would require boards of education to disclose not only percentages of correct answers but also their analysis of test results and plans to improve students' scholastic abilities.
 その際、各教委は正答率だけでなく、結果の分析内容や学力向上策も一緒に示す必要があろう。

The controversy over Inuyama's participation in the tests focused on the roles boards of education should play.
 犬山市の参加・不参加問題は、教委のあり方も問いかけた。

Though boards of education are independent from mayors and governors to ensure education remains free from interference, this does not entitle the boards to be self-righteous. We believe the Inuyama Municipal Board of Education should have made more effort to accurately grasp what parents and other affected parties really wanted.
 教委は教育の中立性を守るため首長から独立しているが、独善は許されない。保護者らの意向をもっと的確に把握する努力をすべきだったのではないか。

The government's Meeting on Education Rebuilding has been considering what form boards of education should take in the future even after it had released its third report in February. We hope the panel leaves no stone unturned in its discussions on the issue.
 教委のあり方については、政府の教育再生懇談会が第3次報告の提言後も、検討を続けている。しっかり議論してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 30, 2009)
(2009年3月30日01時34分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2009-03-30 09:48 | 英字新聞

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