Testimonials, September 2014

25 September 2014:

National Assessment and Surveys Online Program: tailored test design 2013 study

'If the child succeeds in answers several questions correctly at Level 1, then is promoted to level 2 questions which pop up and proceeds to answer them correctly, maybe the child will be better able to be taught at their true level of understanding not just trying to keep up with the rest of the 5 or 7 or 9-year-olds. They may be Level 1 at maths and level 3 at reading but only level 2 at comprehension. This knowledge will certainly assist your child's teacher to work on the particular weaknesses while praising the good points. Or if the child has a great brain and does well at everything they can be put up a class in those particular subjects.'

Barbara L Smith

'From my understanding of the article, the test is only tailored in that it branches into 3 streams – "easy", "mainstream, and "challenging", as the kids progress through the exam – this still accurately assesses their abilities, in fact it would probably do a better job of doing so, as it alleviates their anxieties and that giving up feeling that comes when you just don't know the answers. I think it's a great idea!'

Melissa Worthington-Brown

'Adaptive testing is far superior to just giving everyone the exact same test – it measures level of understanding rather than ability to digest and regurgitate information.'

Des Embrey

'Speaking from actual experience of taking these tests only a few years ago: Anxiety is mainly the product of teachers/parents making 'the test' into something huge and terrifying, which it needn't be since it often doesn't even count towards your end of year marks. Tests like these are a valuable preparation for students who will go on to take exams in future (which is a lot of them). Whatever the flaws of an exam (and there are many) it's the main way of assessing students and the sooner they get used to the idea the better.'

Michael Wilson

'Why does everything have to be in terms of left and right, we are not all the same, anything to keep the children interested and engaged. It's better to know what children can do, rather than what they can't.'

Pat Paddy Gardner

'This is a great idea. The best way to improve the skills of children is to offer them challenges just above their level of ability so they can build on existing knowledge and understanding. They can then 'comprehend' the content of the exam and make a reasonable attempt at responding. They experience success at their level and this encourages them, and teaches them that work brings rewards. This is why the Mathletics, online maths teaching program, is so good. It can be individually tailored to meet each student's strengths and weaknesses so they improve in every aspect. If students don't understand the basics, they can't do more complex work in any learning area. It is called scaffolding. The whole point is that the child competes against her or himself. Not the whole state!'

Pari Gilmour

'Hooray .. Testing for what they know and not what they don't know (donut and not the hole); logistically a nightmare but step in right direction.'

Zana Schroeder

'As a primary teacher, I am pleased to hear NAPLAN is going to be individualized, it makes so much sense! Answers will still be either right or wrong but the question choices will automatically be adjusted to reflect the students' true ability level. The end result will be much mofe useful to teachers as a diagnostic tool and enable them to adjust their teaching to address the students' weaknesses. On a larger scale this will show schools where they need to strengthen their curriculum & teaching methods. A win win for all. Yes we do know where kids 'are at' beforehand but if the govt wants to standardise testing across the country then this is a big improvement!'

Debra Phippen

'This sounds like an adaption of on demand testing. Many Victorian schools do this already. If done properly, these results are more useful to classroom teachers than NAPLAN when it comes to individualising education. I see this as a big step forward at the national level.'

Jeremy Leeson


19 September 2014:

'NAPLAN results were an important part of school transparency.

But [Mr Goodwin] said parents should not view them in isolation.

'If you take them in isolation it doesn’t give a full picture.'

'But I think NAPLAN should be seen by everybody because we need to be transparent about our assessment and reporting, especially to parents.

Mr Goodwin said children needed to learn how to cope with anxiety.

'Anxiety is something we shouldn’t be worrying about so much,” he said.

'If we are worried about it, we should be teaching our students and parents how to deal with it.'

Murtoa College Acting Principal Tony Goodwin
The Wimmera Mail Times

17 September 2014:

When it comes to the development of literacy, Annette says parents should talk with their child because oral language is very important when it comes to reading comprehension success. She says parents should be models of literacy for children by exposing them with various reading materials like train tickets, ... menu of restaurants, and many more.

612 ABC Brisbane, Brisbane, hosted by David Curnow
Interview with Annette Curnow, Literacy Consultant and mother

16 September 2014:

Christie says that they use the NAPLAN results as a diagnostic tool for strengthening the learning and teaching program.

MIX 94.5, Perth, hosted by Tim
Interview with Len Christie, Principal, Beechboro Primary School

NAPLAN tests and My School – NAPLAN Discussion Paper

[Australian Primary Principals Association President Norm Hart] stressed that primary principals support the NAPLAN tests and that results should be reported to students, parents and governments.

12 September 2014
Brisbane Times
Strip results from My School website, say school principals

'[Altona Primary School's year 5\6 team co-ordinator, Andrew Gilpin] stressed that he wasn't being critical of NAPLAN, and that Altona Primary used the data from the tests to drive its teaching.'

11 September 2014
The Age
Altona Primary puts NAPLAN in context

'We know NAPLAN does serve an important purpose.'

11 September 2014
Acting principal Nicole Fridey of Altona Primary School
The Age

Altona Primary puts NAPLAN in context

'We regard NAPLAN as a useful tool for schools and school systems in tracking progress and identifying areas for improvement. We accept that national assessment is one of the tools to provide public information about and strengthen public confidence in schooling and improve accountability and public transparency. We believe it provides one component of the information parents need in making choices about schools for their children.'

8 September 2014
My School – NAPLAN Discussion Paper,
Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA)