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NAPLAN Results and 10th Anniversary

NAPLAN results came out on August 2 and the usual digest and ‘no improvement’ commentary accompanied. The bulk of commentary focussed on the nil relationship between increased funding and improved results (see Jennifer Buckingham’s article below) and that looking for significant change is not a one year exercise. There was no significant improvement in average results.

10 years of NAPLAN should give us something and the following graph shows the significant changes.

Graph

The summary NAPLAN 2017 data can be downloaded from this site.

ACARA says there is a positive trend. Tim Dodd writes in The Australian Financial Review (Aug 2) that, “This is the 10th year of NAPLAN testing and the results have been a long source of frustration to educators and policy makers looking for improvements in Australian school achievement, which has fallen for the past decade against most international benchmarks… The good news in the 2017 results … is that there are long-term improvements in year 3 reading, spelling, and grammar and punctuation and year 5 reading, spelling and numeracy.”

Jennifer Buckingham from the Centre for Independent Studies wrote in The Australian (Aug 2nd):
“This year’s NAPLAN data show there is no straightforward relationship between school funding and students’ achievement… The evidence that extra money has contributed to higher achievement is far from clear. It is well-¬established that teaching is the greatest in-school influence on student achievement.

“Once high-quality teaching has been established, good teaching costs no more than poor teaching. This is partly why it is difficult to find a consistent causal association between the size of the education budget and results.

“Improving results requires schools to use evidence from the best multidisciplinary research on how children learn and the most effective way to teach them. If increased spending is not invested in making sure all teachers have this knowledge and expertise, then it is destined to be wasted.

Click here for the full article.

Respected education commentator Glenn Savage (The Conversation Aug 2) gave a ‘bread and butter’ explanation of this year’s results in an article , ‘NAPLAN is ten years old – so how is the nation faring?’

Click here for the full article.

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