Naplan Advantages

1282 Words 6 Pages
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy, better known as NAPLAN, is an annual nationwide assessment of students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It is designed to test students’ literacy and numeracy skills, as well as provide feedback to schools and school faculty regarding student performance in comparison to other students across Australia and the national curriculum. NAPLAN appears to be a valuable resource on paper, but does it really perform like it claims? The simple answer is no. The test is simply not as beneficial as the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority says, providing limited benefits at the cost of many detrimental effects. NAPLAN wastes valuable class time without being useful; causes unnecessary …show more content…
Additionally, many schools will spend hours preparing students for the tests so they can perform better, instead of concentrating on learning actual skills and information. These tests take away from the already limited classroom time available for teachers to use. NAPLAN is simply destroying something that is needed for effective learning in a classroom – time. Without time, a teacher cannot cover material in a thorough and meaningful way; instead, under the time constraints of NAPLAN, students are not being taught properly. This may perhaps be acceptable if NAPLAN provided benefits to schools and students, but NAPLAN does not. In a survey1 of schoolteachers from Western Australia and South Australia, 67% of respondents stated that NAPLAN did not improve, or made very little improvement to the learning of students in their class. Another 10% stated that it only occasionally made an improvement. It is clear that NAPLAN has made little, or no positive impact on most students, while still using up class time. Perhaps this time should be used to make genuine improvements to a student’s skillset? It was also noted that NAPLAN wasted time in the early part of the year before the tests were held because teachers attempt to teach everything on the test in little detail so students …show more content…
The consensus among teachers is that a few hours of testing simply cannot be used to judge a student’s ability. How can a few tests cover enough of the curriculum to be considered a fair test? A high school teacher claims1 that ‘[w]hat [the students] study … is not linked to any current learning or life experience’ and that ‘[t]hey cram for a week or so and then forget about it.’ The tests are of no use simply because they do not cover enough of the right material. This demonstrates how out of touch NAPLAN is with the rest of the educational system. The items tested will be of little use because real life is not multiple choice, and does not involve questions like those on NAPLAN tests. Another criticism of NAPLAN’s inaccuracy was the limitations of having it as a few written tests over half a week. A written test must be in English and conducted on a certain day. This would put those who were unwell on the day or those who speak poor English at a disadvantage. A teacher in a remote Aboriginal community where English is a second or third language stated1 that ‘NAPLAN testing is unfair and soul crushing for my students’ because they do not understand some of the questions. These students are doing poorly in tests because they do not know what they need to do, not because they do not know the answer. Is this a demonstration of a student’s true ability? These students then feel

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