The annual conference of the Austalian Educatos' Union (AEU) voted unanimously last week to boycott national tests. Now the country's 180,000 teachers will refuse to even open the tests next May. The AEU is taking this stand becasue the government is planning to use test results to compare schools in league tables. The union has given the government until April 12th to halt its plans to publish league tables - otherwise the boycott will go ahead in may. The issue of national testing and league tables is one which is facing teaching unions in many parts of the world. They are a key part of the neo-liberal project for educaion which sees schools as competing businesses and requires 'objective' results so that one school can me compared with another. They have been a feature of life in the UK and the US for many years and at present the National Union of Teachers in England together with a headteachers' union is once again planning to boycott the tests. Just as the AEU is garnering huge support from parents and other educationists - the same is true in England where for example childrens' writers and poets have been prominent in the campaign against tests because of the way they distort and impoverish children's education and destroy the creative autonomy of teachers. Meanwhile in Mexico sections of the teaching union have been in a life and death struggle with their government over the issue of nantional testing - getting huge supporrt from local communities in their fight for a liberated education which is not dictated by a deadening testing regime.