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Time’s run out for NAPLAN, says teacher union

The annual NAPLAN tests, which commenced in schools this week, are simply not fit for purpose, according to public school teachers and principals.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said an overwhelming majority of public school teachers and principals questioned the effectiveness of NAPLAN testing.

“NAPLAN does not effectively measure student’s learning outcomes or correctly identify where teachers should focus to improve student performance,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“It does not give parents an accurate assessment of their child’s educational achievements, nor does it take into account a teacher’s informed judgment or the daily learning that takes place in schools.

“What NAPLAN does is increase student stress and anxiety, cut into precious teaching time and add to teachers’ already overburdened workloads.

“This is in addition to problems rolling out online testing in recent years along with the interruptions of COVID in 2020.

“NAPLAN is simply not fit for purpose,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“The Australian Education Union once again calls on the Federal Government to scrap NAPLAN and develop a new assessment framework based on sample testing in consultation with the teaching profession and its union.”

The AEU’s 2020 State of our Schools survey of 12,000 public school staff (teachers, principals and education support staff) found:

  • 75% of teachers do not believe NAPLAN is effective for school comparison
  • 74% of teachers do not believe NAPLAN is effective for measuring school performance
  • 85% of teachers do not believe NAPLAN improves student outcomes
  • 56% of teachers do not believe NAPLAN is effective in helping to identify areas to focus to improve student outcomes
  • 94% of teachers believe NAPLAN contributes to student stress and anxiety
  • 74% of teachers say the publication of NAPLAN data has led to increased pressure on teachers
  • 66% of teachers say that NAPLAN increases their workload
  • 73% of school principals do not believe NAPLAN is effective for school comparison
  • 87% of school principals believe NAPLAN contributes to student stress and anxiety
  • 78% of school principals believe NAPLAN increases teacher workload
  • 75% of school principals do not believe NAPLAN improves student outcomes

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