Everyone has an opinion on NAPLAN. However, a Queensland review has revealed a concerning knowledge gap about the purpose of NAPLAN, what students are tested on and how the results are used.
Recently, more than 7,500 Queensland parents and carers had the chance to share their experiences – both positive and negative – of NAPLAN and their perceptions of its value and worth.
Almost 7 out of 10 parents believed schools spent too much time preparing for NAPLAN, while 1 in 2 said the test made their children anxious.
The review also found “parents were not generally familiar with the content of the tests” and were unclear about the purpose of NAPLAN.
More than 5,800 teachers and principals, 3,000 students and 200 education stakeholders covering almost 80 percent of Queensland schools also contributed their insights to the NAPLAN review.
What the review found and what the Queensland Government has committed to addressing are the unintended impacts on student anxiety, teaching and lack of consistent and clear communication about the purpose and use of NAPLAN.
The Government will undertake a targeted communications campaign to arm parents with more comprehensive information about the national literacy and numeracy tests and how the results and other student assessments are used by schools.
According to the government’s response to the NAPLAN review, new online resources for parents and schools will also be developed that “identify at each year level the types of assessments a student might expect to encounter”. For each assessment type, information would be provided on:
- its purpose, benefit, alignment to the Australian Curriculum and limitations
- who is likely to be involved and what it is testing
- what to expect in relation to readiness activities, if applicable
- how the results may be used and to whom they are likely to be communicated
- whether it is international, national, state or school based
- whether it is optional or a core part of teaching and learning.
The Government will also give parents and school communities information “about the types of techniques used in NAPLAN and typical example texts students may experience at Years 3, 5, 7 and 9”.