This week coming is NAPLAN week for Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students around Australia. NAPLAN the National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy is going around for the twelfth time. Year nine students will be going in for4 their fourth dip at the testing regime, so they are old and experienced hands.

Regardless of what people say, think, feel and do, it is important to recognise NAPLAN as the an null lighthouse event on the Australian Educational Calendar for Primary and Middle School students in urban, town, rural and remote locations in every state and territory of Australia. It is not going too far to suggest that NAPLAN is the cement that binds together the bricks of our Australian Educational edifice.

This is not a comment on the sturdiness of the educational wall. I simply suggest that NAPLAN is the idol worshipped by all politicans and policy setting educationists who believe that testing and assessment is the pinnacle of educational essence. Primary school children children and middle school students are the guinea pigs, the means and the instruments enabling the emulation of these tests.

A regional superintendent once suggested to a group of principals in the NT, that education was about teaching, strategies and DATA. It is about teachers being offered strategies to teach toward DATA outcomes. NAPLAN rules OK!

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