26 September 2023

NAPLAN fails review test

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The Minister for Education has welcomed an interim report into a review of Australia’s National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) schools testing scheme.

The Minister, James Merlino said the Interim Report set out the major issues with NAPLAN as identified during an initial consultation round.

“The Report also includes preliminary ideas for addressing these issues,” Mr Merlino said.

“NAPLAN has lost the support of much of the teaching workforce and that simply isn’t good enough,” he said.

“We need a test that has the support and engagement of the teaching workforce, parents and students.”

Mr Merlino said the increased stakes of NAPLAN was one of the issues identified and had related impacts, such as school comparisons and the inability of NAPLAN to provide meaningful information about the level of achievement for both high and low performing students.

He said the Report also identified concerns about the timing of the test, as the significant delay between students sitting the test and receiving the results meant that schools had limited opportunity to use the results to improve student learning outcomes.

Mr Merlino said the Report had identified potential changes to NAPLAN which included: shifting the timing of the assessment to earlier in the year; changing school years that tests were administered in; reviewing test content; and limiting the availability of test data to prevent unfair comparisons between schools.

“The issues and possible changes identified in the Interim Report are intended to guide further work in the New Year, when the Panel will undertake further detailed consultations and seek written submissions.”

Mr Merlino said Professor Barry McGaw, Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith and Professor William Louden made up the expert panel leading the review.

The nine-page interim report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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