NAPLAN integrity in question with Federal criticism over WA results

Federal Education Minister, Dan Tehan, has dismissed calls to scrap NAPLAN, urging opponents to stop blaming the test for a widespread lack of student progress and instead learn from jurisdictions that have shown improvement.

However, he has also criticised Western Australian’s decision to only use the highest NAPLAN scores, and wrote to Minister Ellery expressing his disappointment.

The students who had to re-sit their NAPLAN test will have their highest score reported, regardless of whether that was achieved during the first or second test, and was done in the best interests of WA students.

The information provided by the WA School Curriculum and Standards Authority showed examples of many students with dramatically worse outcomes between the two tests.

Once WA realised they had to sets of data, clear examples showed there were significant differences between the two results, so it would have been ‘irresponsible’ to follow through with the earlier decision to only use the second tests’ results.

State Education Minister, Sue Ellery, has rejected his criticism and said no student should be disadvantaged by technical issues experienced this year while the test was underway.

“In WA 17,000 students had to re-sit the writing tests which represents 20 per cent of WA’s NAPLAN population, which is a much higher percentage than the reported national figure of five per cent,”

“The integrity of NAPLAN is brought into question if parents are provided with information that clearly does not reflect their child’s proficiency,” she stated.

Ms Ellery also said there’s no reason The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority can’t put a note on the results outlining that WA used the best results of the two tests, so you can’t compare WA to other states.


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