NAPLAN: “why do we keep doing it when there are all these other unintended consequences?” (Gonski Institute)
It’s becoming fashionable to criticize NAPLAN. I was recently in a meeting where the prominent principal of a prestigious local independent school was ventilating over how bad NAPLAN is as a way of meaningfully assessing individual student progress. She spoke of how a test designed to measure individual progress is now misused to compare schools and has spawned a coaching industry that seriously skews the results for particular schools.
Where was she in 2008? That was when the national testing regime was introduced by the then Labor Minister of Education Julia Gillard as a sure way to improve Australian education. The evidence is now clear that it hasn’t.
At Glenaeon in 2008 we felt very alone in pointing out the inappropriateness of such a high stakes national testing regime, and questioning the educational benefit of testing primary school age children in particular with such a blunt instrument. Now we don’t feel at all alone. Every year since then, more and more voices have called for a serious review or abolition of NAPLAN, even reaching to two recent Ministers of Education in NSW.
Here are two recent Sydney Morning Herald articles that provide commentary from some distinguished educators: (click for more)