Expert report finds 2018 NAPLAN contains ‘fatal flaw’


27 August 2018

A new report by independent world-leading experts in online assessment has found that data from the 2018 NAPLAN is essentially useless and should not be used.

The report, Problems in the Design and Administration of the 2018 NAPLAN, by respected academic Les Perelman, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Professor Walt Haney, Boston College, has found that the ‘incomparable’ data and ‘fatal error’ in this year’s NAPLAN online trial meant that ‘the 2018 NAPLAN results should be discarded’.

The report says that the ‘comparison of 2018 results with those of prior years is, for the most part, a futile exercise’. Further, the 2018 NAPLAN online trial cannot be compared with previous data held on My School.

The problem arose when the federal government trialled an online version of NAPLAN alongside the traditional paper test during this year’s NAPLAN. According to reports, the main point of concern about the NAPLAN online results is the diverging performances in grammar and punctuation between students who sat the online test and those who sat the written version.

Of the one million students who sat NAPLAN this year, approximately 200,000 students were part of the online trial.

The AEU has called for the data from the 2018 NAPLAN to be set aside while the education community develops a new and student-centred approach to assessment.

New Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan, appointed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison over the weekend, must listen to the widespread concerns of the teaching profession and announce a comprehensive review of NAPLAN and My School.