We’re the smartest of the not smart enough

August 05, 2017

THE latest NAPLAN results show Victorian and NSW students continue to outperform most of the nation.

THE latest NAPLAN results show Victorian and NSW students continue to outperform most of the nation.

But overall performance in Australia continues to stagnate, with no major improvements since last year.

The controversial test was introduced in 2008 and tracks student progress in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy.

The preliminary results, released this week, show the proportion of Victorian students in the top bands for numeracy and reading had increased across almost all tested year levels.

The state, along with NSW and the ACT, is now leading the country across most of the test areas.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority chief executive Robert Randall said there had been ‘‘some improvement’’ across all year levels in most domains since the test was rolled out.

‘‘Importantly, we see a gradual redistribution of students from lower bands of achievement to higher ones, particularly in some domains and year levels, such as year three reading,’’ he said.

‘‘In other areas, this improvement has not always been great enough to significantly impact national averages, but it is certainly a positive trend.’’

Schools across Australia are still waiting to receive their own results, but Mr Randall said turnaround times should be slashed when testing goes online from next year.

‘‘We anticipate the tailored testing and online presentation will better engage students and provide an opportunity for them to better demonstrate their individual skills in literacy and numeracy,’’ he said.

The results for each school will be made public on the My School website in March next year.

Local principals have repeatedly played down the importance of the NAPLAN test, arguing it provides a mere snapshot of student performance.

Last year, Echuca Primary School principal Lynne Flynn expressed concern about the way the results were being interpreted.

‘‘To me, the NAPLAN data was never meant to be used as a competition between other schools, but that’s very much what it has become. I don’t like that aspect,’’ she said.

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