Tom Alegounarias is the Chair of the Centre for Educational Measurement and Assessment at the University of Sydney and former Chairperson of the New South Wales Educational Standards Authority (NESA). Since 2009 Tom has been the President of the NSW Board of Studies, and he chairs some very significant committees under his portfolio: NSW BOS Registration and Accreditation of Non-Government Schools Committee, NSW BOS Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Committee and the NSW BOS Primary Curriculum Committee. He also played a substantial role in the establishment of the NSW Institute of Teachers and held the inaugural position of Chief Executive from 2004 to 2009. Under his leadership the Institute implemented a policy model for supporting teacher quality and standards which has drawn attention from policymakers worldwide. These professional teaching standards and associated accreditation and approval processes are viewed by government officials as among the most significant educational policy reforms of the past decade.
In a recent opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald, titled ‘HSC is a glittering asset and we must protect it,’ Tom opined:
“The bathwater is putting the baby in real danger here. Contrary to impressions, the HSC has been in almost continuous review for decades. Changes have been cautious and mostly successful. The critics in my view are motivated less by educational understanding and more by a general antipathy to systemised assessments and to the idea of a common curriculum. The glibness of their criticisms highlights their perniciousness,” (SMH, 18 December 2020).