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The Forum > Article Comments > NAPLAN fails the test > Comments

NAPLAN fails the test : Comments

By Elizabeth Grant and Fiona Mueller, published 11/8/2010

If you're going to set standards, then make sure you meet standards.

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I think the article raises one of the very important issues with NAPLAN - that it offers a common assessment for very different processes. That is only an issue, however, if it is being used to make judgements and issue punishments, rather than to gather information.

At the end of the day, it is assessing common outcomes: literacy and numeracy. Regardless of the way in which it is achieved, it is the responsibility of each state's curriculum body to produce literate citizens. It is also the responsibility of each body to use the appropriate metalanguage in producing that literacy. A verb is a verb in QLD, NSW, WA - anywhere. A phrase is a phrase, a clause is a clause, the subjunctive mood is the subjunctive mood wherever it is used. If we turn to functional (rather than traditional) grammar, as the Australian Curriculum appears to, then a process is a process and a participant is a participant. A nominal group is a nominal group and a verb group is a verb group. The English language is the same across Australia, so there's no point in complaining that the tests favour one state over another, or that the tests marginalise certain groups of students. It is the responsibility of the states to bring their students to the same level, and to use the same language in the same way. Hopefully the Australian Curriculum will achieve this objective.

The other gaping hole in the NAPLAN system, as I see it, is that it ends with Year 9. Surely the most important measure of successful teaching of literacy comes with the completion of schooling, at the end of Year 12? Do we assume that kids who are functionally illiterate in Semester 1 of Year 9 will be functionally illiterate at the end of Year 12? If literacy is so important, why don't we measure it as an exit outcome? We need to take literacy and numeracy seriously - they are the core of our educational system, but at present they seem to whimper out three quarters of the way through. Why?
Posted by Otokonoko, Friday, 13 August 2010 1:36:34 AM
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Readers should also visit the Phil Cullen OLO story on this shameful USA silliness.

NAPLAN is such a foolish 'plan', along with Gillard's abject failure with her 'education revolution' overall.

Are there no 'educators' in Australia with any influence, or are they all grovelling around on government funded research grants?

The AEU has failed miserably to engage with the Australian public on anything at all to do with education, since 2007.

They remain mute at all times, and got done-over by Gillard on everything they objectyed to.

The AEU has not even won over its own membership, so it seems, since they are the ones who meekly carry out all the non-education that goes on in our schools.
Posted by The Blue Cross, Monday, 16 August 2010 12:08:54 PM
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