Testimonials December 2014

2014 NAPLAN National Report and Test Incidents Report release

 

Parents refusing a NAPLAN test ("Parents boycotting NAPLAN tests", 10 December 2014, p. 3) is more to do with the snobbery of not wanting to be told what to do (similar to those who refuse to vaccinate), rather than any philosophical argument.

If parents think a child is going to be harmed by a test, they had better go buy a bulk order of cotton wool because life is full of challenges. Any parent who has no interest in knowing if their child is coping with the core subjects of the curriculum is questionable at best, putting their own preciousness before any potential benefit to the child.

Letter to the editor
Carolyn Hogan, Queanbeyan, NSW
12 December 2014
Canberra Times


 

Kids at school should know where they stand academically compared to other kids ("Test leaks and cheats hurt school exam plan", 10 December 2014).

It is important for schools to openly applaud academic achievements. Competitive tests and results do not create unnecessary stress. Last but not the least, it is not cool to be a fool.

We need tests like NAPLAN.

Let the kids be tested. Let them know the results. Let them strive for excellence. Let us help them get ready for the real world.

Padmini Sunderaj, Baulkham Hills
12 December 2014
Daily Telegraph


 

I know that all my NAPLAN results have been close to accurate for me, because my school reports have showed almost exactly the same results (being placed in the higher two quartiles) but some people perform better on a test that they've studied for, like in school rather than a three-day test which you've had no prep for. Although, most of it should have been already taught.

Ethaniel Corfield-Thompson
Daily Telegraph Facebook page
12 December 2014
 


 

It is kind of helpful knowing that's where I sit with the rest of Australia and the rest of my year.

Year 9 high school student, Nina Belakhov
SBS, 10 December 2014


 

It gave me an idea of what I needed to either work on or what my strengths were compared to the rest of the people in my grade.

One year, I think it was Year 7, I noticed a lot of people in my class were better at English than I was but I was in the top band for maths.

So it was kind of interesting to see how the people in the same school differed and also to see how I compared to the rest of the year throughout New South Wales and Australia.

Year 9 high school student, Charlotte Trent
7 News, 10 December 2014


 

NAPLAN is a valuable reference at a point in time, but needs to be put into context.

Those data are part of a series of ‘firsts’ that will improve the relevance of NAPLAN testing as part of a broad understanding of a student’s learning.

Classrooms are the front line of education and learning. Teachers, parents and the students themselves need to be constantly engaged to understand how each student is performing from week to week and from year to year.

It is encouraging to hear that the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is already working on the next stage of improvements to NAPLAN.

National Catholic Education Commission Executive Director Ross Fox
Media release by the National Catholic Education Comission
10 December 2014


 

The idea behind NAPLAN is to give parents and teachers a snapshot of how children are going in reading, writing, use of the English language and arithmetic, compared with other children of the same age. The important word here is snapshot.

There is a danger that in withdrawing their child from NAPLAN they are missing out on important data about their child’s progress through school. This is particularly important if the opportunity is lost to identify cohorts of students who are in need of additional support.

Australian Parents Council
10 December 2014


Suzanne G Kelly: Well, unfortunately we are constantly tested throughout our lives. I was of the belief that it was better to get used to tests because of the HSC, Uni and TAFE; There will be tests and important ones and life will always bring pressures...And if they don't score well, that should be a parents cue to get them some help or support. You shouldn't just rely on the school only to educate your kids.

Leisel O'Keefe: It's one test on one day which is a useful snapshot - along with a myriad of other formative and summative assessment strategies that provide us with feedback for learning. More importantly it provides us with an overview of progress across years and does instil some accountability. Which is a good thing! As a secondary English teacher I have noticed a dramatic improvement in the capacity of kids to write cohesively in extended writing tasks as a result of more directed instruction in the primaries.

Michelle Jones: NAPLAN is a revision test for all that the students have learnt from K-2. It reflects a snap shot in time of what your child can and cannot do academically. If your child is getting lower than average marks in NAPLAN then the parent needs to do something about it before the gap gets wider. Learning needs to take place at school and at home!

Toni Bayley: For goodness sake it's just a test. We welcomed NAPLAN in my home. It gave us an insight on how our 3 girls were going and we could then help them in the areas they may have been struggling and praise them for their hard work.

Jack Bremner: The fundamental of business is you can't improve what you don't measure. I don't understand why parents would be refusing to have their kid sit it.

Carl Malone: The exam provides very useful information on how the school is tracking and how our kids are doing compared to their fellow students. Selective schools take the top x%, there's no entry score- just comparisons. Bit like a job interview in that way. What else do we have that compares our kids on a level playing field

Foua Faleao Tavita Styles: Naplan is the best programme that has ever been introduced! It exercises children mentally, emotionally etc. And receiving results can be an amazing experience if you study hard enough! It's all part of learning. Just another day at school but with the extra push in studies which which is exactly what they should be encouraged on their daily school lives. School isn't a place where you drop off your child with their lunch to keep them out of the way for the day, it's a place for learning to prepare them for a future. I am a parent that AGREES WITH NAPLAN and stands by it!

La Ma: Thanks to NAPLAN I have seen an enormous improvement in the education delivered in the schools in my city. The schools have really lifted their game. And it needed a big lift!!! NAPLAN is improving the schools and improving the teachers.

Luna Petras: I think the exam is good, it teaches them to sit and do something for an hour or two in silence- which is a skill they need to do the HSC successfully. However, I do not agree with teachers drilling kids in class and spending time revising for this( I think this is a private school phenomena). This is a diagnostic test and thus should be a reflection of their strengths and weaknesses. Students and teachers can then evaluate and reflect on the results and see areas of improvements that can be incorporated into lessons in the future. There is no reason to stress kids out, it should be a "do your best" on the day exam. One thing that would make it better is if the results were available within the month so students and teachers can work together to address weaknesses in numeracy and literacy.

Jodie Sompel: I have an autistic son, never has he been asked not to participate. I feel it a valuable benchmark to look at where he is relative to other children and if and where he needs extra support. And tests/exams are a normal part of life, they need to learn to take them. I'd question the schools motivation, I believe schools who don't want certain kids to participate or do extra "coaching" have something to hide in their sloppy teaching methods.

Terrin Illingworth: Surely this has to be more about the approach to it from parents and schools rather than the tests themselves. My kids go to a school where not much emphasis is put on the tests only that the kids learn how to do tests that have marking automation formats. The kids dad and I choose to make sure that our kids know the test is about challenging themselves and they'll find out how they went later in the year. That comes from 2 different households too, that means they pretty much have no stress or anxiety associated with and the results speak for volumes. Both tests my eldest has done he has been in the top two bands and/or off the charts (in the arrow head). As kids go through school they're standardised against the rest of the population for all sorts of things uni entry being just one. Perhaps it's time we stop being so precious about it and leave it be. One other thing, If people are stressed about the curriculum not being taught one would imagine that the teachers/school have calculated NAPLAN into their overall yearly teaching for the grade level given it happens at the same time every year for years 3,5,7 (&9??). By participating they may still be learning, by keeping them at home it pretty well guarantees they won't be.

Chris Cnoohan: It provides teachers with information about student literacy and numeracy, so that they can target particular areas. It also provides information about students who need extra help so that they can leave school with functional literacy and numeracy.

ABC Facebook page
10 December 2014