Communist Party of Australia

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Issue #1600      July 3, 2013

More time needed for NAPLAN report card

An Australian Greens parliamentary inquiry into NAPLAN testing will be reconvened after the election to give more time to examine evidence.

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright said the inquiry had been overwhelmed with the magnitude of community concern about the standardised tests.

“My inquiry has heard extensive evidence these tests are causing high levels of stress in students and teachers and increasing ‘teaching to the test’,” Senator Wright said.

“We have heard that there is wide-spread confusion over the purpose of the tests and that data is being used in new and possibly unsuitable ways, such as assessing school funding and teacher performance.”

She said much of the concern seems to stem from the publication of data on the MySchool website and the competitive emphasis this creates.

The inquiry has also been told simple changes like moving the time of the tests to earlier in the year and returning data quicker would be big improvements.

“But this is a very complex matter and there has not been time to properly examine all the evidence and suggest policy changes before the end of this Parliament, so I will move to reconvene the inquiry after the election,” said Senator Wright.

“The Australian Greens want to know how NAPLAN can be improved to ease the pressure on teachers and put student learning at the forefront.”

The Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee has handed down its interim report into NAPLAN testing. The report can be found here .   

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