I’d be welling to bet pounds to peanut shells that the 2020 NAPLAN online program will be fraught with difficulties and challenges. Those challenges will manifest themselves during the peak time tests are being completed.

The pilots this year threw up a lot of difficult situations for trialling schools. Those difficulties were duplicated all over Australia. The ‘panacea’ of offering supplementary written tests for students who were fouled online was hardly a palatable alternative. Without doubt, many students would have thought of themselves as guinea pigs.

Silence NAPLAN was introduced in 2008, there have been pros and cons about the legitimacy and value of the testing regime. With the actual process of test administration via booklet and pencil reasonably settled, why was there a need to returned to the age of experimentation by going the online route. The need for mucking around with process does little to enhance the functionality of the tests.

I’ve heard that the online alternative will allow students to be given tests over a number of weeks rather than curtailment to the three May days that currently apply. Quite apart from the possibility of compromising the confidentiality of test questions, the agony of testing preoccupation will be stretched out over time for students and teachers.

And all this for what real gain other than playing around with students, their parents, schools and their teachers yet again.

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