Survey Finds that NAPLAN Has a Detrimental Effect on Education

The results of a survey published last month show that a large majority of teachers think that the NAPLAN tests detract from learning in the classroom and have little education benefit for students.

Teachers say that NAPLAN has lead to a narrowing of the curriculum, teaching to the test, and a negative classroom environment that lowers student engagement and does not cater for the needs of individual students. Hours of test preparation mean that it is harder to cater for students with the greatest need.

The tests are also increasing stress and anxiety amongst students. Many students are experiencing anxiety attacks, are not sleeping and are becoming physically ill before the tests. Continue reading “Survey Finds that NAPLAN Has a Detrimental Effect on Education”

Education is More Than Test Scores

All the weight now placed on NAPLAN scores and international test scores as the measure of education success ignores a fundamental dictum: education is more than test scores. Tests ignore much of what schools do that is highly valuable to children growing up and to society. The Prime Minister and her Education Minister do not appear to understand this. Continue reading “Education is More Than Test Scores”

A Principal Speaks Out on NAPLAN

Wednesday October 17, 2012

This is an interview with Kevin Pope, Principal of Meadow Heights PS in Melbourne. The interview was conducted by Lorraine Wilson and Jacinta Cashen for the Say No To NAPLAN group. It is one of several papers recently published by Say No To NAPLAN. The full set of papers is available on the Literacy Educators’ Coalition website. Continue reading “A Principal Speaks Out on NAPLAN”

Targetting East Asian Test Scores Will Bring East Asian Afflictions

The Prime Minister and the Federal education minister have set test scores in East Asian countries as the benchmark of education success. However, East Asian success has come at considerable cost. There is a very real danger that pursuing this new target will inflict Australian education with similar problems and undermine our successful education results.

Several recent media reports confirm that the emphasis on test scores in East Asian countries has brought some very undesirable education and social side effects. Two particular effects are intense parental pressure on children to succeed which leads to many hours of homework and private tutoring and a focus on memorization and rote learning at the expense of thinking skills and creativity. Continue reading “Targetting East Asian Test Scores Will Bring East Asian Afflictions”

Downsides to East Asian Education Success

A recent report by the Asian Development Bank suggests that high participation in private tutoring in East Asian countries is a factor behind their education success. The report shows that 70-80% of students are engaged in private tutoring and it warns about profound education and social consequences of the “alarming” expansion of tutoring. The report adds to evidence from recent OECD studies that extensive private tutoring is increasing education inequality in Korea and Japan. Continue reading “Downsides to East Asian Education Success”

Testing is Robbing Children of their Childhood and Health

Reports in the world’s media over the last few weeks have told of the immense burden being placed on young children by school tests in cities as far apart as Beijing, New York and Sydney. There was a common thread to the stories – children being robbed of their childhood and their health suffering because of the emphasis now placed on tests in schools. Continue reading “Testing is Robbing Children of their Childhood and Health”

NAPLAN Crowds Out Other Education Goals

When you have simple one dimensional metrics to measure performance people will “game” the outcome.

It is one of the biggest problems that shareholders have in private firms. Many firms prioritise short-term profits over long-term viability (the performance of the financial sector was a great example of this). Continue reading “NAPLAN Crowds Out Other Education Goals”

What NAPLAN Test Prep Has in Common With Trains Skipping Stations

An interesting article was published in The Age last week about Metro Trains, the privately-owned operator of Melbourne’s suburban rail network. Apparently, Metro has resorted to skipping stations and running unscheduled short services in order to avoid being fined for trains running late. Continue reading “What NAPLAN Test Prep Has in Common With Trains Skipping Stations”

Letter of Support from Academics for “Say No to NAPLAN”

Over 100 education academics have signed a letter in support of “Say No to NAPLAN”.

We are a group of Australian academics teaching in universities. As a group we are appalled at the way in which the Commonwealth government has moved to a high stakes testing regime in the form of NAPLAN, despite international evidence that such approaches do not improve children’s learning outcomes. Continue reading “Letter of Support from Academics for “Say No to NAPLAN””

Interview With Diane Ravitch

In this interview on the Charlie Rose show in the US, Diane Ravitch speaks out against high-stakes testing; says that charters don’t get better results than regular public schools; speaks about the importance of having a strong public education system; and lists the things that must be done to improve education: a full curriculum; early childhood education; an end to high-stakes testing; a strong and respected education profession; taking steps to reduce poverty.

Read Diane Ravitch’s book: The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.

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