It's time for a new NAPLAN

April 09, 2018

A major report released today has revealed Australia’s NAPLAN testing regime is failing the nation’s students and is quite possibly contributing to declining performance standards across the nation.

The report was researched and delivered by Dr Les Perelman, an academic with a distinguished intellectual career specialising in writing assessment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [M.I.T.].

Dr Perelman has found that the NAPLAN writing test is, “By far the most absurd and the least valid of any test that I have seen.”

The Perelman Report was commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation on behalf of the teaching profession.

Teachers Federation President, Maurie Mulheron, said,

“This historic Perelman Report now provides overwhelming evidence that the existing NAPLAN testing regime is harming our students and harming our nation.

The Report shows that NAPLAN is a recipe for mediocrity, reinforcing low level student writing capacities at the expense of higher order performance skills”, Mr Mulheron said.

“A monolithic NAPLAN test causes Australia to disregard the sophisticated and adaptive assessment examples of successful systems and nations.”

“NAPLAN encourages teaching to emphasise low standard, formulaic student writing performance that harms student achievement across the spectrum.”

“There is widespread and growing professional and parental alarm at the negative effects of the one size fits all NAPLAN testing regime. NAPLAN results have flat-lined and in some cases regressed over recent years. This concern is evident across most schools and all systems in Australia.

“The Perelman Report, with its brilliant and erudite analysis of the NAPLAN writing assessment, uncovers the essential causes and justification for this national anxiety.”

“It is now both essential and urgent that responsible policymakers conduct a review into NAPLAN with the goal of replacing it with systems that are crafted around the principles of varied and differential teaching and assessment; that recognises that a student-centred approach to assessment requires the abandonment of lockstep, monolithic, often harmful and regressive, testing.”

Les Perelman report

ABC News