May 6, 2006 - 6:09AM
All Australian Year 12 students would sit standard national exams replacing all existing state qualifications if the federal government gets its way.
The first step in assessment would be the Key Capabilities Assessment, testing reading, writing, English, mathematics and information and communication technology.
Students would also be marked on "employability skills" covering areas such as teamwork, problem solving and initiative.
The plan, reported in The Weekend Australian, has been recommended in a federal government report supported by Education Minister Julie Bishop.
The report by the Australian Council for Educational Research recommends the establishment of a national standards body to set core content in different subjects and achievement standards graded A to E based on international benchmarks.
The standards body would set up subject panels of specialists in nine basic subjects initially covering the sciences, history, English, maths, economics, geography and computers.
The existing nine state-based matriculation certificates would be replaced by a single Australian Certificate of Education awarded by each state and territory.
Ms Bishop told the newspaper she would put the recommendations to state and territory education ministers when they meet in July.
The national certificates could be awarded to students graduating as early as 2009.