Outcomes Grading in WA

I’m not that sure about how the WA system worked, but it’s been under attack for some time; this was the news today.

THE West Australian Government has effectively killed off its outcomes-based education system (OBE), dumping a controversial grading method using eight levels of achievement.

New Education Minister Mark McGowan today said the move was part of wide-ranging changes to WA’s education system.

He replaced Ljiljanna Ravlich as education minister last month after
she was removed in a ministerial reshuffle, after months of heavy
criticism by teachers and the state opposition over the implementation
of OBE.

Mr McGowan said today Year 11 and 12 students would now be assessed
using traditional percentage marks and grades rather than the proposed
levels system.

“(The move is) to restore public confidence in the rigour and
quality of our education system so that these ongoing debates, analysis
and perhaps in some parts confusion in relation to our education system
are ended,” Mr McGowan said in Perth.


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  1. Great news for education in WA.
    International assessment expert Professor David Andrich has recommended to the Curriculum Council that “Levels” and the “Direct Levelling” method are useful ONLY for broad administrative purposes. They are invalid for the determination of students’ Tertiary Entrance Rank, and are unsuited for reporting to students and parents.

    Professor Andrich has also determined that the use of “Bands within Levels” is totally invalid statistically. A subsequent report by Professor Jim Tognolini agreed.

    I applaud the abolition of levelling and only hope that OBE will also soon be dumped as well.

  2. You would be if you had to teach it.
    The WA version of OBE is ridiculous, the outcome statements are vacuous and generalised, the level descriptors are pompous nonsense and the entire system of documentation is so jargon-laden that no-one that has to use it is able to interpret it.
    The edsite poll on OBE currently has 95% of teachers in WA against OBE in WA.
    Check it out at: http://www.edsite.com.au

  3. I’m so relieved that levels have been removed from assessments in the senior school. They should be removed from all years.
    My hope is that the outcome statements will be removed once the new syllabi are introduced and all references to OBE are erased.
    OBE in WA has been a miserable failure.

  4. Our entire department had our best day at school for a long time today.
    Every teacher looked so relieved now that the horror of levelling has finally been removed from the upper school classes.
    We are all hoping that levels will be abolished in all years and clear and concise outcomes,in the form of a syllabus, will be reintroduced.
    Our school has had enough of OBE, even the departments that have adopted it have said that standards have either stayed the same or dropped.
    The terrible WALNA results confirmed everyones suspicions that OBE just doesn’t work.

  5. I see some of the outcomes nonsense in the national curriculum, but it should be fairly easy to work around. At least there are no levels and we can mark in a more meaningful manner (although I’m seeing the first of the student work samples starting to creep in – another hallmark of OBE in WA)

  6. Same at our school, we are so glad the dark day of OBE are pretty much over. The national curriculum does has it’s flaws, like the Science and society nonsense, but at least we can assess as we see fit

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