National Report on Schooling in Australia 2013

Part 5: Student achievement – National Assessment Program

5.0 Overview

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians describes literacy and numeracy and knowledge of key disciplines, as 'the cornerstone of schooling for young Australians'. As a part of the commitment, within the Melbourne Declaration, to promote world-class curriculum and assessment, education ministers agreed that the curriculum will include a strong focus on literacy and numeracy skills.

The National Education Agreement (NEA) also articulates directions for measuring and improving the literacy and numeracy achievement of young people.

The Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2012 defines the national key performance measures (KPMs) for student achievement in the National Assessment Program (NAP) in literacy, numeracy, science literacy, civics and citizenship, and information and communication technology literacy. The measurement framework also specifies the annual assessment and reporting cycle for the NAP.

The National Assessment Program

The NAP, as specified in the measurement framework, encompasses all assessments endorsed by education ministers for participation by students nationally:

• the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) – annual, full student cohort literacy and numeracy assessments in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9
• NAP sample assessments – triennial domestic sample student population assessments in science literacy (Year 6), information and communication technology literacy (Years 6 and 10) and civics and citizenship (Years 6 and 10) (to 2017)
• Australia's participation in international sample student population assessments, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). PISA, which is conducted every three years, assesses reading, mathematical and scientific literacy of a sample of 15-year-old students. TIMSS, which is conducted every four years, assesses the performance of a sample of Year 4 and Year 8 students in mathematics and science.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is delegated to manage the development and oversee the delivery of assessments and reporting for NAPLAN, and for domestic NAP sample assessments, as directed by the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC). PISA is conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). TIMSS is conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

NAP assessments conducted for 2013 were:

• NAPLAN for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Key performance measures for NAPLAN 2013 are reported in Part 5.1: Student achievement – National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).
• NAP – civics and citizenship Year 6 and 10 sample assessment. Key performance measures for civics and citizenship 2013 are reported in Part 5.2: Student achievement – National Assessment Program – Civics and Citizenship.

NAPLAN national reports for each year detail student achievement in NAPLAN at the national, state and territory, and student subgroup levels. These are published on ACARA’s National Assessment Program website. The website also allows users to specify and download tables from its results page. Student achievement in NAPLAN is reported at the school level on the My School website.

Reports on each three-yearly NAP sample assessment are also published on the NAP website.

Key performance measures for PISA 2012 are reported in the National Report on Schooling in Australia 2012. The national report for PISA 2012 is available on the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) website. Key performance measures for TIMSS 2011 are reported in the National Report on Schooling in Australia 2011.

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