The burden of NAPLAN

With the build-up to the federal election and everything that has been happening on the local political scene, a very important and significant event has almost been overlooked. Between May 10 and 20 the 2022 NAPLAN program is taking place. Students in years 3,5, 7 and 9 are sitting their literacy and numeracy tests for this year. They, together with their teachers will be glad when the program concludes for this year.

Sadly, school and system leaders will then begin champing at the bit, anticipating outcomes. Judging school effectiveness on the basis of test results which were once advertised as being a minor ‘point in time’ assessment, over inflates the value of this testing regime. Sadly, too many children spend far too many weeks and even months before the tests in pre-test, practice and readiness mode. By the time tests are administered, they are often stale and probably do less well than would be the case if they were not so encumbered with this readiness strategy.

The over-emphasis on NAPLAN detracts from schools and diminishes education as a whole.

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