Questions for NAPLAN [...]

In response to a presentations from Ray Adams (ACER), Sara Ruto (PAL), Anil Kanjee (Tshwane University of Technology), Sue Thompson (ACER), Hans Wagemaker (ex-IEA), Sam Sellar (MMU), and Barry McGaw (ex-ACARA), Greg Thompson asks the following questions:

If NAPLAN is impactful, and I think on this we agree, why is it only ever impactful in positive ways such as in the anecdote that you shared? Why aren’t we equally interested in the negative impacts including trying to understand all of those schools that have gone backwards?Given the objective of this event, I am wondering which qualitative researchers you have read on the effects of NAPLAN that informed your attempts to make the assessments better through designing responses to the unintended consequences of the assessment?Results across Australia have flatlined since 2010*, how do you justify that NAPLAN has been a success in its own terms?I’m always concerned when people mischaracterise the unattended consequences of tests as being ‘teaching to the test’. It would be better to see a hierarchy of unintended consequences ranging from:making decisions about people’s livelihoods such as whether to renew contracts for teachers based on NAPLAN resultsmaking decisions about who to enroll in a school or a particular program based on NAPLAN resultsa narrowed curriculum focus where some subjects are largely ignored, or worse, not taught at all so that schools can focus on NAPLAN prepteaching to the test which may or may not be a problem depending upon how closely the test aligns with curriculum etcThe problem with the branched design for online tests is not whether students will like it or not, it is a) whether schools have the computational capacity to run the tests, extending to whether or not BYOD schools advantage/disadvantage some students depending upon the type of device they use, problems of internet connection in rural and remote schools, bandwidth in large school etc. I am interested how you characterise this as a success?** (Source)

Questions for Data

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