Teachers, principals have little faith in NAPLAN

NewsTeachers291018.png

29 October 2018

A new survey has revealed just how poorly NAPLAN is regarded by the teaching profession in Australia.

The ‘State of our Schools’ online survey was conducted by Insync Research survey on behalf of the Australian Education Union (AEU) between 20-31 August 2018. 7,804 AEU members responded to the survey, including 697 public school principals and 6120 public school teachers.

Nearly nine in ten public school teachers said that NAPLAN was ineffective as a method of assessing students. Nearly seven in ten public school principals said NAPLAN is not effective as a measure of school performance, while nearly eight in ten public school principals said NAPLAN was not effective for comparing school performance with other schools

According to the 2018 State of our School Survey:

  • 85 per cent of teachers feel that NAPLAN is ineffective as a method for teachers to use as a way of assessing students
  • 76 per cent of teachers say publication of NAPLAN data has led to an increase in the pressure on teachers to improve NAPLAN results
  • 75 per cent of teachers say publication of NAPLAN data has led to an increase in the use of NAPLAN data to measure school performance
  • 65 per cent of teachers say publication of NAPLAN data has led to a noticeable increase in the stress levels of students in the lead up to the test
  • 61 per cent of teachers say publication of NAPLAN data has led to a greater focus on preparing for the test, including pre-testing
  • 54 per cent of teachers say publication of NAPLAN data has led to a reduced focus on other areas of the curriculum
  • 58 per cent of teachers feel they spend too much time preparing for standardised tests
  • 57 per cent of teachers feel they spend too much time administering standardised tests

In addition:

  • 74 per cent of principals say NAPLAN is not effective for comparing the performance of your school with other schools
  • 67 per cent of principals say NAPLAN is not effective for measuring school performance

These survey results demonstrate the strength of feeling in the teaching profession against NAPLAN.

After a decade of NAPLAN, we need to critically analyse the impact of standardised testing and implement assessment processes which are intricately linked with teaching and learning in our schools, not just used for system data collection purposes.

These survey results should be a wake-up call for the Morrison federal government, which has consistently ignored the calls of the teaching profession for a comprehensive review of NAPLAN.

Federal Labor has announced support for a review of NAPLAN if they win the next federal election. Labor has also committed to individualised assessment which is closely linked to classroom teaching and learning, and which provides regular, transparent diagnostic information about how well students, schools and systems are doing.