ACARA news, September 2013

Release of the 2013 NAPLAN student reports

23 September 2013

Find out more about the release of the 2013 NAPLAN Student Reports on the National Assessment Program (NAP) website.

Professor Barry McGaw travels to Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

22 September 2013

Professor Barry McGaw, ACARA Chair and University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor's Fellow, is in Muscat, Oman, this week to attend the Education and 21st Century Competencies National Symposium.

Professor McGaw's presentation, Developing 21st century competencies through disciplines of knowledge, covers the history of defining disciplines and the 21st century skills and their treatment in the Australian Curriuclum, and discusses the presentation of the curriulum online and how it links to curriculum resources for teachers.

In his paper Professor McGaw explains, 'In 1988 the council of federal, state and territory education ministers in Australia appointed a committee, chaired by Brian Finn, Chief Executive Officer of IBM Australia, to examine the links between schools and vocational education and training. In its report, the committee identified six competencies that all young people should develop that went beyond narrow vocational competencies (Finn Committee, 1991)...

These lists of competencies and skills and the work behind them show that debate about what are now often called the 21st century skills began in Australia before the end of the 20th century.

There have been similar discussions in other parts of the world as well. There have also been significant international efforts to define the skills...'

Read Professor McGaw's symposium paper in full.

Through its Assessment and Teaching of the 21st Century Skills Project, the University of Melbourne is one of 11 international participating institutions at the symposium.

Expressions of interest sought – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group

17 September 2013

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is seeking nominations from suitably qualified and experienced individuals, for inclusion on a register of potential advisory group members for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group (the Group).

Group members will be of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander background and have extensive knowledge and understanding of and expertise in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and some experience in the development of curriculum and/or achievement standards.

The Group has been established to provide advice on:

  • the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures priority
  • protocols and sensitivities that need to be taken into account by ACARA business units as ACARA proceeds with its curriculum, assessment and reporting programs.

For further information and to download an expression of interest form, visit the Cross-curriculum priorities page of the ACARA website.

Stable student achievement and encouraging signs of improvement

13 September 2013

Today ACARA released the 2013 NAPLAN Summary Report.

The Summary Report provides nationally comparable data for the 2013 national and state/territory results for each year level (3, 5, 7 and 9) and for each test domain (reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy). It also gives comparisons of national and state/territory achievement in each year and test domain between 2008 (2011 for persuasive writing) – 2013 and 2012–2013.

Key findings from the 2013 Summary Report include:

  • Overall student achievement at state/territory levels has remained stable across 2012–2013.
  • There has been a moderate increase in performance in Year 5 Reading compared to the first year of NAPLAN data in 2008. This builds on the changes that we have seen in Year 3 Reading in recent years.
  • The moderate overall improvement that we have seen in Reading in recent years continues nationally when we compare this year’s results with 2008.

Robert Randall, Chief Executive Officer of ACARA said today, 'These results give a crucial first look at how our students performed in this year’s NAPLAN assessments, which are an important tool to help improve student learning. I am pleased with the identified moderate increase in performance in Year 5 reading'.

Read or download the Summary Report on the National Assessment Program website.


Response to Sydney Morning Herald article

29 August 2013

ACARA CEO Robert Randall has sent the following letter to the Sydney Morning Herald:

'I read with interest the article by Jane Caro and Chris Bonnor and wish to correct an inaccuracy in the article. The article notes that “My School demonstrates ... how location and socio-economic status are affecting the achievements of schools and students everywhere”. The My School website provides high quality, fair and nationally comparable data on the performance and progress of nearly 9500 Australian schools. It does not provide data on socioeconomic status. My School provides information on socio-educational advantage, which reflects the influence of parental education and occupation on student performance in school. Importantly, the measure of socio-educational advantage does not involve asking questions about a parental income.'

Robert Randall,
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority