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Thousands of students to resit NAPLAN over online glitches
This year’s botched round of NAPLAN testing proved the examination “really is a dud”, Federation President Maurie Mulheron has declared.
Responding to news that up to 400 schools would have to retake NAPLAN next Tuesday – after they experienced online dropouts, lags, log in failures and problems inputting answers – Mr Mulheron said the resits were “another unnecessary disruption”.
"The tests are poor tests and we're spending far too much time and resources on them already but to now have to resit them, the whole exercise is just a waste of time," Mr Mulheron said.
"What was going to be a bimodal test is now a trimodal test, it shows that the results cannot be authenticated and they certainly cannot be posted on the MySchools website.
"It's chaotic, it's another unnecessary disruption."
The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) confirmed that the majority of the schools retaking the tests were opting to do so online, the source of most of the technical problems in the first round.
NAPLAN has been criticised by the previous NSW education minister Rob Stokes as distracting teachers and students from the curriculum with too much emphasis on results that give schools a ranking.
The present minister, Sarah Mitchell, said she was “not happy” with the outcome, saying education ministers needed to “sit down and have a serious conversation, firstly about what happened, how we use the data from this year's testing, and the impact it has had on the kids, and where we go from here in terms of things being online”.
Mr Mulheron also said the number of schools opting to resit NAPLAN revealed there shouldn't have been a concerted effort to expand the online tests in NSW after complaints were made about the method last year.
"We really need to slow the whole process down and review what kind of testing regime we want in this country," Mr Mulheron said.
"NAPLAN really is a dud."
One teacher told The Sydney Morning Herald even the “concept of a resit shows a lack of understanding of how a school operates”.
"We have excursions and incursions and other learning activities,” the teacher said. “Three days for NAPLAN go in the calendar a year in advance; I don't know many high schools where things could be flexible now."
Last year, renowned education expert Dr Les Perelman published Towards a new NAPLAN: Testing to the Teaching, a dissertation on NAPLAN’s and labelled the writing test as “one of the strangest writing tests I have ever seen”.
"It's the worst one of the 10 or 12 of the international tests that I've studied in depth. It's by far the most absurd and the least valid of any test that I've seen," Dr Perelman, who was commissioned by Federation to make the study, said at the time.