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Articles on high stakes testing

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Big education tests come with serious side effects, research shows. YanLev/

Large-scale education tests often come with side effects

While large-scale education assessments, such as the PISA, are meant to show how education systems are faring around the world, evidence shows these assessments come with a host of problems.
We may need to rethink how NAPLAN is used, but overall it’s an important tool for researchers and policymakers. Shutterstock

Five things we wouldn’t know without NAPLAN

While we may need to rethink how we use NAPLAN, it is an important and useful tool for researchers and policy makers.
Non-cognitive skills like perseverance and hard work might be more accurate predictors of success than literacy and numeracy quizzes. Shutterstock

School should be about more than just measuring intelligence

Who do you think would do better at school or in the workplace: someone who is smart, but lazy, or someone who is not naturally brilliant but will keep working at a problem until they get it right? Intuitively…
Offering cash incentives for school performance seems like a good idea, but there are a lot of unwanted consequences. Shutterstock

Why cash incentives aren’t a good idea in education

If there is one iron law of economics it is this: people respond to incentives. Offer an “all you can eat” buffet and people eat a lot. Double the demerit points for speeding on a holiday weekend and fewer…
NAPLAN testing can’t be all bad if the government is still committed to it, can it? Shutterstock

Criticise if you must, the NAPLAN tests are valuable for teachers

Since NAPLAN, the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy began in 2008, everyone and their dog has criticised the process. Detractors say teachers are forced to teach to the test, it pits…
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. 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? 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…

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