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Home > News > Professional Issues > Professional Issues Volume 17 > Our union’s voice heard on NAPLAN

Our union’s voice heard on NAPLAN

test.jpgIssue Snapshot

  • Our union has participated in the Stage One consultation of the NAPLAN Review being conducted by the Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales governments. 
  • An Interim Report of the Review is set to be released in December 2019 which will clarify the objectives of standardised testing in Australia and recommend short term improvements to standardised testing. 
  • Our union welcomes the Review as NAPLAN is a political tool used to devalue the teaching profession by allowing results to justify incursions on teachers’ practice and professional judgement.  

Background

Our union has participated in the Stage One consultation of the NAPLAN Review being conducted by the Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales governments, independently of the federal government. 

The review is set to determine whether the test is “meeting the needs of governments, schools, parents and students”. 

It is the sixth review of NAPLAN in five years and will be informed by and build upon work already undertaken, including the 2018 Queensland NAPLAN Review and other work that has considered the extent to which NAPLAN has met its original objectives. 

The Stage One Interim Report will be delivered to the Education Council in December 2019 and will clarify the objectives of standardised testing in Australia; suggest immediate improvements to standardised testing in Australia to better meet these objectives and; summarise long-term issues for investigation for Stage Two. 

Stage Two will deliver the final report to the Education Council in June 2020 and will outline a strategy for standardised testing in Australia, to be considered in concert with the introduction of new assessment approaches. 

The terms of reference of the Review can be found here. 

Urgent overhaul needed for NAPLAN

This tri-state review has been initiated because of the significant concerns of teaching professionals, schools, students and parents. 

Since its establishment in 2008, NAPLAN has narrowed teaching and learning to a limited band of ‘testable skills’, leaving other critical learning goals as ‘bonuses’. 

This has led to widespread student disengagement and unnecessary anxiety, as confirmed in the 2018 Queensland NAPLAN Review.

NAPLAN is a political tool which is out of touch and out of date – schools are openly critical of it; students have given up on it and the introduction of online testing resulted in technology failing NAPLAN before students could even finish the test. 

The federal government continues to support the test because it allows for comparison which is ultimately used to devalue the profession by using results to justify incursions on teachers’ practice and to diminish the capacity for teachers to use their professional judgement. 

Our union welcomes the NAPLAN Review and supports the professional independence of teachers so that they can continue to do what they do best – teach and provide quality education.


Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.