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Analysis and Comment (22)

NAPLAN results do have their uses, but they are often overstated and they certainly don’t paint a picture of a child’s overall success at school. NAPLAN results do have their uses, but they are often overstated and they certainly don’t paint a picture of a child’s overall success at school. AAP

NAPLAN results don’t tell us the whole story

Results are out for NAPLAN 2014, and already the discussions have started around the meaning of those results. The program remains controversial, with academics and the public debating its impact on students…
School is the place where questioning the status quo should take place - but not in a high-stakes test. School is the place where questioning the status quo should take place - but not in a high-stakes test. AAP

Testing democracy: NAPLAN produces culture of compliance

There has been widespread and well-justified critique of the NAPLAN tests in Australian schools. Concerns have focused on the ways the testing severely narrows the school curriculum, compounds disadvantage…
Is NAPLAN worthwhile? Or is it just putting pressure on our kids for no good reason? Is NAPLAN worthwhile? Or is it just putting pressure on our kids for no good reason? AAP

NAPLAN testing does more harm than good

New research raises questions about the impacts of the National Assessment Program – Literacy And Numeracy (NAPLAN) on the wellbeing of students and on positive teaching and learning approaches. NAPLAN…
Paper and pencil NAPLAN testing will go online in 2016, but will schools be ready? Paper and pencil NAPLAN testing will go online in 2016, but will schools be ready? bibiphoto / Shutterstock.com

NAPLAN online: will Australian schools and students be ready?

The Australian Government plans to conduct the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) online from 2016. This presents a significant challenge for Australia’s 9,500 schools. Conducting…
Years of schooling separate the rich kids from the poor kids. Years of schooling separate the rich kids from the poor kids. www.shutterstock.com.au

Why poor kids continue to do poorly in the education game

The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Stewart Riddle outlines the correlation between low socioeconomic backgrounds…
Simply standing in front of a class and telling children how we are used to doing things ‘just won’t work’, according to leading American education expert Linda Darling-Hammond. Simply standing in front of a class and telling children how we are used to doing things ‘just won’t work’, according to leading American education expert Linda Darling-Hammond. AAP/Dan Peled

In Conversation: Maxine McKew and Linda Darling-Hammond

Watch the video of Maxine McKew interviewing Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond below. Australian schoolkids are scoring higher than their US counterparts in maths, science and literacy, but a visiting…
How do NAPLAN tests compare? How do NAPLAN tests compare? Test image from www.shutterstock.com

NAPLAN doesn’t stand up to international tests

A new parliamentary report on the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) finally takes a long, hard look at the calibre of these controversial tests. As part of the committee process…
What are you paying for when you choose a private, non-government school? What are you paying for when you choose a private, non-government school? Private school image from www.shutterstock.com

Buyer beware: are you really purchasing a ‘better’ education?

Australian parents are increasingly choosing to spend more money on their children’s education. A report released last week showed parents who chose private education for their child were paying an average…
NAPLAN tests are only measuring a very small part of literacy and learning. NAPLAN tests are only measuring a very small part of literacy and learning. Writing image from www.shutterstock.com

NAPLAN only measures a fraction of literacy learning

Students across Australia in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are currently sitting for the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests. These tests are supposedly designed to identify whether…
For all its faults, NAPLAN is helping Indigenous education. For all its faults, NAPLAN is helping Indigenous education. AAP Image/Melanie Foster

Closing the gap: NAPLAN will help improve Indigenous education

Federal education minister Peter Garrett confirmed late last week that education ministers from around the country had agreed to lift national efforts to improve Indigenous education results. Results from…
If you want to improve science education, standardised science literacy tests is not the way to go. If you want to improve science education, standardised science literacy tests is not the way to go. Test image from www.shutterstock.com

NAPLAN science tests unlikely to improve science education

The federal Labor government’s proposal to expand the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) franchise and include science literacy is not a surprising move. Once national testing…
There’s been plenty of attention on NAPLAN testing this week, but ACARA’s Barry McGaw argues there needn’t be. There’s been plenty of attention on NAPLAN testing this week, but ACARA’s Barry McGaw argues there needn’t be. Test image from www.shutterstock.com

NAPLAN myths: it’s not a high-stakes test

There has been much controversy this week over a study released by the Whitlam Institute claiming that NAPLAN testing is being treated as a high-stakes program that is causing unnecessary stress among…
Literacy and numeracy tests are having a negative impact on Australian students. Literacy and numeracy tests are having a negative impact on Australian students. Test image from www.shutterstock.com

Testing the test: NAPLAN makes for stressed kids and a narrow curriculum

NAPLAN tests – the literacy and numeracy tests given to primary and secondary students – are causing health problems and promoting a culture of “teaching to the test”. A national study released today surveyed…
What’s the real effect of NAPLAN testing? What’s the real effect of NAPLAN testing? AAP Image/Paul Miller

Anxious kids not learning: the real effects of NAPLAN

Australian teachers are not convinced that NAPLAN improves the reading and maths skills of students. Over the next week, NAPLAN results will be arriving at students' homes around Australia. But new research…
Bad NAPLAN results can lead parents to seek help, but which learning programs can they trust? Bad NAPLAN results can lead parents to seek help, but which learning programs can they trust? Test image from www.shutterstock.com

Nasty NAPLAN results: what should parents do next?

The latest NAPLAN results have arrived, and soon enough thousands of Australian parents will tear open the envelope containing their child’s NAPLAN results. They will be faced with a series of graphs that…
The government will boost schools funding today, but what’s next? The government will boost schools funding today, but what’s next? Classroom image from www.shutterstock.com

Gonski is half the battle, trusting teachers is the next step

Today the Prime Minister will announce the government’s full policy response on schools funding, following the Gonski report earlier this year. The Gonski report recommended a funding boost across the…
The government needs to respond to the Gonski report on schools funding and start improving student outcomes. The government needs to respond to the Gonski report on schools funding and start improving student outcomes. Schools image from www.shutterstock.com

Six steps the government needs to take on Gonski

It’s been six long months since the Gonski panel made its recommendations on schools funding, but in the next few weeks the federal government will finally respond and release the details of its school…
Education minister Peter Garrett along with his state counterparts have agreed upon some pretty big changes to teacher development. Education minister Peter Garrett along with his state counterparts have agreed upon some pretty big changes to teacher development. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Building a profession: teacher performance reviews not just about ‘bad teachers’

Finally, perhaps the time has come. The Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders and the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework, both signed off…
A recent report into Indigenous education that points the finger at schools and teachers missed the point. A recent report into Indigenous education that points the finger at schools and teachers missed the point. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Indigenous education report misses the big picture

Any work that shines a spotlight on the appalling state of education for Indigenous Australians is to be welcomed. And so Helen and Mark Hughes are to be commended for their latest effort, a report called…
The NAPLAN tests are about getting the best results for students. The NAPLAN tests are about getting the best results for students. Flickr/Elizabeth Albert

Don’t boycott NAPLAN! Turning our back skews good data

A small but vocal group is calling on parents to withdraw their children from the National Assessment Program: Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests. But if this call is successful and enough children are…
Do we need to go down the Confucian path of learning - or is there another way? Do we need to go down the Confucian path of learning - or is there another way? AAP Image/Alan Porritt

NAPLAN tests mean academic achievement but is there a price?

As the fifth year of NAPLAN testing gets underway this week, it has prompted the usual debates. Are the tests in our student’s best interests? Are students adequately prepared? If teachers are “teaching…
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised an education revolution, but where are the results? Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised an education revolution, but where are the results? AAP

Education funding: more dollars than sense

All is not well in the Australian school system. Australian schools are struggling to meet the achievement levels of OECD leader Finland. With the release of the commissioned research reports for the Gonski…

Research and News (2)