QLD Education Minister Grace Grace has released findings of a first-of-its-kind state-wide evaluation of NAPLAN and again called on the Morrison Government to commit to a comprehensive national review.
Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government’s evaluation identified that NAPLAN had played a role in supporting improvements in Queensland’s educational outcomes.
“However, many parents reported that testing caused their child to experience anxiety and stress; that there were a range of unintended consequences stemming from the now high-stakes nature of the testing; and that there were differing expectations about the purpose of NAPLAN,” Ms Grace said.
“Educators expressed concern at the growing amount of time and pressure in preparing for testing; examples of teaching being tailored to NAPLAN, resulting in a narrowing of the curriculum; and that NAPLAN data was being misinterpreted as the sole indicator of a school’s performance.”
Ms Grace said she wanted to make sure NAPLAN achieved the right balance, with the information gained from NAPLAN used for the right purpose while addressing any unintended consequences.
“To achieve this, we will be incorporating these findings into a communications strategy for parents and schools about NAPLAN,” she said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is developing an online resource for parents and will provide clear guidance to schools about NAPLAN’s place in our education system.
“I again call on the Morrison Government to listen to all states and territories; listen to parents and students; listen to teachers and commit to a national review.”
Ms Grace said phase one of the state-wide evaluation received feedback from more than 7,500 parents and carers and 3,000 students, representing a total response rate of around 80 per cent of all schools.
Phase two, undertaken by the Australian Catholic University, saw feedback from 5,800 teachers and principals, and 200 education stakeholders.
“This response is not surprising as since I became Education Minister not a week has gone by without someone raising a concern with me about NAPLAN,” she said.
“While the Morrison Government will not support a national review of NAPLAN, Federal Labor has committed to a comprehensive review if successful at the coming election, and I welcome this commitment.
“The Palaszczuk Government has been a leading voice in this conversation because we firmly believe that after 10 years it’s time for a comprehensive national review of NAPLAN.
“Queensland’s work in this area means we are ready and able to contribute our findings to a national review.”
The review reports and the government’s response are available on the Department of Education website at https://qed.qld.gov.au/programs-initiatives/education/naplan-2018-review.