No NAPLAN Improvement – Teachers to Blame.
While many thought that results would be announced in September, NAPLAN results are available now….at least to the press. Monday 18 August S.M.H. reveals that “ Students Perform Badly in Writing Test”. The article highlighted a confusing question in the test of literacy.
1. ACARA will investigate the writing question “but suggested the reason students across all years scored lower in writing compared to 2011 may have been because schools overprepared for the test.”.
Of course it’s the teachers’ fault. “Please explain”…how? Testors know more about classrooms than teachers do, it seems; so blame is apportioned by all-knowing testor to testee. That’s professional behaviour?
2. “Some schools prepare for the test at the expense of the curriculum in order to achieve better marks.”
Now there’s a revelation for ACARA. It did not know this; so, It tried to be tricky this year and “did not reveal whether the writing task would be a narrative or persuasive piece.” The children were asked “which law or rule would you make better in your view?” One wonders how many marks the pupil who wrote about getting rid of NAPLAN received. All we know is that his mother gave him 10/10 and was very proud of him. That’s something.
3. Test expert Dr. Randall conceded that the test “…may have been confusing for some primary school students.” That’s testing expertise in action! Reliablity used to be an essential in test preparation!
4. The test experts reveal that “…teachers are teaching to the test.” Well! Fancy that ! These experts tricked the teachers this year! “In a bid to stamp this out, this year ACARA did not reveal whether the writing task would be a narrative or persuasive piece.” ACARA is now one up in the dirty tricks department. They hoodwinked the kids and blamed the teachers. Since such activity reveals that the aim is not to assess performance but to score points in the contest between testor and teacher, what is being proved? Will Tom Waterhouse be allowed able to run a book. on next year’s contest? Pupils and schools will now have to purchase more test-practice books, attend more tutoring shops, take more performance-enhancing supplements and listen more to testucator’’s advice than to educator-classroom-teachers. It could be called the Pyne/Murdoch solution. Robustness! Phonics! Direct Teaching!
5. “In NSW we have seen a substantial increase in the number of students undertaking the writing test who received a zero score, indicating that they did not attempt the task at all.” said a spokesman for the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards. “This is most evident for the younger years, particularly year 3.” What do teachers and test experts make of this ? How can statements be made about performance if the animals can’t or don’t perform?
6. In this kind of State of Origin contest, the blues have won hands down. “NSW also has the highest participation rate in the country.” That’s a win?.
The case for the abandonment of NAPLAN rests. Now, what should be the punishment for those who dare to corrupt the intellectual development of our young with this sort of nonsense? Where’s the ethics? Is the a code of ethics for testucators as there is for educators?
Teachers over prepare! Schools neglect the curriculum! Young children can’t answer a question! ACARA will investigate itself!
Assessment? Reliable? Effects on Classes? Effects on Learning?