Education Minister Grace Grace has encouraged the more than 260,000 Queensland school students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 taking part in NAPLAN testing this week to stay calm and simply try their best.
NAPLAN testing will take place across Australia from tomorrow. It encompasses reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy — skills that will benefit students for the rest of their lives.
“NAPLAN is one of a number of tools that is used to monitor students’ progress and assess their areas of strength and development and give us data to help track the progress of Queensland’s student as a whole,” Ms Grace said.
“However, reports commissioned by the Palaszczuk Government identified that there were a range of unintended consequences stemming from the now high-stakes nature of the testing.
“More than 7,500 parents and carers and 3,000 students, representing around 80 per cent of all schools, and 5,800 teachers and principals, and 200 education stakeholders participated in the evaluation, providing invaluable feedback on their experience with NAPLAN.
“Many parents reported that testing caused their child to experience anxiety and stress and educators expressed concern at the growing amount of time and pressure in preparing for testing and that NAPLAN data was being misinterpreted as the sole indicator of a school’s performance.
“Certainly, I want Queensland kids to give 100 per cent as they would any other form of assessment, but I also want them, and their parents, to ignore the hype and simply stay calm.”
Ms Grace also reaffirmed her call for a national review of NAPLAN.
“The Federal Government cannot continue to ignore the concerns of our parents, teachers and student,” she said.
“After more than 10 years it’s time for a comprehensive national review of NAPLAN to ensure it remains current and responsive to changes in education.
“While the Morrison Government will not support a national review of NAPLAN, Federal Labor has committed to a comprehensive review if successful at the coming election, and I welcome this commitment.
“Queensland’s work in this area means we are ready and able to contribute our findings to a national review, and I again call on the Morrison Government to listen to all states and territories, parents, students and teachers and commit to a national review.”
Ms Grace said parents could be confident that the great work students and teachers do every day in the classroom prepared students well for the tests.
“Our teachers work tirelessly to support their students’ wellbeing and learning which empowers students to realise their potential,” she said.
“As a result, Queensland achieved some of its highest ever NAPLAN results in 2018, building on a long-term trend of positive literacy and numeracy results across the state.
“In a report published late last year, The Grattan Institute described Queensland as the star performer, with our primary students making two months more progress in reading than the national average between Year 3 and 5, and about one month more progress in numeracy over the same two years.
“Since 2008, Queensland students have improved in an outstanding 16 of 20 test areas.
“Our Year 9 students achieved some of the highest results ever last year while in reading and spelling, we saw continued improvement across all year levels.”
This year, around 74,000 students at more than 480 state and non-state schools are participating in NAPLAN Online, ahead of the scheduled full rollout by 2020.