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Students should be at the centre of reporting: submission
Academic growth and individual achievement should be the focus of reporting, Federation’s submission to the review of NAPLAN states.
The union is proposing a completely different approach to national assessment, which would include fundamental change to the existing NAPLAN program, A-E reporting and the My School website.
Federation’s submission proposes a new national assessment program. In lieu of the current census testing — which interrupts the schooling of children in their millions — the union asserts that regular testing of a representative sample of 100,000 students could track the nation’s progress and locate areas of need.
Federation has long been critical of the existing National Assessment Program, which tests whole cohorts and compares them, yet has failed to contribute to an increase in educational outcomes.
NAPLAN has perpetuated “teaching to the test”, created unwarranted stress in children, and the publication of school results on the My School website has heaped scorn on disadvantaged students and their communities.
The union’s proposed model for a new national assessment program would also require all schools to regularly assess how students were progressing, by undertaking on-call assessments supplied from a national bank of test items, developed by teachers.
This model would provide testing to the teaching rather than teaching to the test, which has been reported.
Teachers would be able to choose from a variety of assessment items on a specific topic, to cater for needs and capacities of their students.
Assessments could be conducted online, with pen and paper, or in oral or visual form.
Marking would be conducted by teachers at the school or with colleagues in other schools, governed by externally referenced marking criteria and work samples supplied with the test items.
Parents and caregivers would be given their child’s test results, a picture of how well their child was progressing in areas taught in their classroom, plus a report of how their child was progressing in relation to the national standards.
Federation proposed an overhaul of the data presented on the My School website.
“The time is surely overdue that we reintroduced principles of legal protection for children and reinstated in appropriate legislation the regulatory confinement of student test data,” Federation’s submission states.
“We would never allow this invasion of privacy of adult citizens that currently is annually inflicted on young children and their communities in the name of NAPLAN and My School.”
Federation’s submission is based on years of global research to identify world’s best practice in assessment, testing and reporting.
The NAPLAN review was established by the NSW, ACT, Queensland and Victorian governments, dissatisfied with the Federal Government’s refusal to conduct a national review of NAPLAN.Emeritus Professor Barry McGaw, Emeritus Professor William Louden and Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith have been asked to identify what a standardised testing regime in Australian schools should deliver, assess how well NAPLAN achieves this, and identify short and longer-term improvements that can be made.
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