The NAPLAN Review Interim Report has been released today that outlines the major areas of concerns about NAPLAN and preliminary thinking about strategies for reducing or eliminating those issues.
It is good to see the interim report reflect the same concerns I have held about NAPLAN since taking on my role as Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development in the ACT.
The concerns raised in the interim report are the high stakes culture, the potential narrowing of curriculum if students are being excessively prepared for the test, and the delay in schools, students and families receiving the results.
Some of the proposed strategies to reduce or eliminate issues include changing the timing of the test, reconsidering the years that are tested, expanding the test to include general capabilities, reducing the extent NAPLAN is reported on My School, and making NAPLAN a sample not a census assessment.
I look forward to the final report and findings once these proposed preliminary strategies have been explored further.
The main concern raised with me through conversations with students, parents, teachers and the community is the way NAPLAN is publicly reported and how that contributes to creating a high stakes culture of the test, particularly in stigmatising lower scoring schools and the unfair stress NAPLAN can place on students and their families.
NAPLAN is a point in time test and schools use a range of other methods to assess and support students to make sure meaningful data is tracked and recorded for all students. It is school-level data for each student that makes the greatest difference to student progress.