A new coalition has been set up to organise support for a boycott of the NAPLAN tests. The Boycott Naplan Coalition was founded by three groups: The Popular Education Network Australia PENA, The Teacher and Education Support Staff Alliance TESA and the Say No To Naplan group.
A statement by the group says the organisations came together in recognition of the need to grow a loud and united opposition to the tests, to continue to share the research and facts challenging the usefulness of the tests and to provide a vehicle for others to also collaborate on such a project.
“We believe the time has come to seriously challenge the NAPLAN tests and the increasingly negative and discriminatory impact of national testing on both teaching and learning.
“The use of national test data to compare, rank and shame schools is producing a culture of ‘teaching to the test’ that narrows the curriculum, undermines real learning and threatens to turn teaching into auditing. Schools increasingly compete for “elite students”, so that their NAPLAN results look better, and more schools are introducing streamed classes, marketing experts, and data coaches to improve their NAPLAN scores.
“When schools have to perform in national tests, education tends to be reduced to a hoopjumping, accountability process, where “how to get good test results” becomes the focus of schools and the burden of teachers. This undermines the learning process, including the development of conceptual and interdisciplinary knowledge, and creates a competitive culture that undermines student wellbeing, happiness and engagement.”