ACARA news, April 2018

Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools

30 April 2018

ACARA welcomes the discussion, findings and recommendations of the Gonski report: Through Growth to Achievement: Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools.

The report recommends initiatives that build on and enhance the work ACARA has achieved over the last 10 years under the direction of the Education Council.

ACARA looks forward to further announcements from the Australian Government and the Education Council regarding the findings and recommendations contained in the report, and working towards our mission to improve the learning of all young Australians through world-class school curriculum, assessment and reporting. 

ACARA blog: Are ICT and Digital Technologies different?

26 April 2018

In our latest blog post, Digital Technologies in focus Curriculum Officer, Martin Levins, shares his thoughts on the way ICT and Digital Technologies interrelate. 

Joint statement from parent organisations regarding NAPLAN

19 April 2018
The Australian Parents Council, the Australian Council of State School Organisations and the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association have issued the following statement on behalf of Australian parents regarding NAPLAN.

NAPLAN writing assessment

10 April 2018

The NSW Teachers Federation has released a report from Dr Les Perelman, a retired professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), with his opinions on the NAPLAN writing assessment.

Dr Perelman’s report assesses NAPLAN through a comparison to other standardised assessments, which have different purposes and audiences; for example, the American SAT that is a university entrance exam. NAPLAN is a check on the fundamentals of literacy and numeracy learning. It was introduced to provide national consistency where previously there were separate and different state-based basic skills tests.

The NAPLAN marking guide (rubric) focuses on the fundamentals of effective writing –spelling and grammar. Students who get higher marks on NAPLAN are able to demonstrate successful mastery of each.

Over the years, ACARA has worked  to improve NAPLAN and has already reviewed the NAPLAN writing assessment and identified areas for improvement, which will be best realised once NAPLAN has moved online. NAPLAN Online will give increased flexibility and a more tailored, adaptive test experience for an individual student. 

NAPLAN is an important tool with the data generated useful to parents, teachers and education systems.   

ACARA welcomes input on refinements to NAPLAN and will continue to work to ensure that NAPLAN does what it is meant to – assessing the literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every student to progress through school and life.

National Report on Schooling: updated data available

03 April 2018

Today, ACARA’s interactive resource, the National Report on Schooling data portal, has been updated with the most recently available data, including key performance measure data and data on schools and schooling:

  • school numbers, student numbers and staff numbers
  • student–teacher ratios
  • school funding
  • teacher education
  • Year 12 certification rates.

See the National Report on Schooling data portal on the ACARA website.