Aussies will know that the septic contamination of NAPLAN is spreading in NSW through the use of Year 9 NAPLAN results attached to the HSC. This crazy movement by amateur educators suggests that the NAPLAN tests themselves might have to be modified to cater for this kind of thing, which, of course, contributes further to the unreliability of the tests as a useful measure of performance. If so, our PISA results will improve and testucators will be able to hoodwink parents with their kind of statistics. This is just a rumour, of course.
The most sensible suggestion comes from Martine Beaumont….see below in this article from the SMH.
It’s willy-nilly time for NAPLAN use.,frequently described as being “as useful as an ash-tray on a motor-bike”
HSC numeracy and literacy test will divide students, cause anxiety say principals
Principals from leading private schools have warned that a new literacy and numeracy test which year 9 students must pass to qualify for their HSC will divide students place too much emphasis on NAPLAN and cause anxiety among teenagers.
Parents have also expressed their concerns with the extra online test for all students who do not achieve three band 8s in year 9 NAPLAN this year.
Paul Teys, the head of Hunter Valley Grammar School, said a group of independent school heads was meeting with the standards authority this week to outline their complaints about the new test. He said an additional external exam was an unnecessary distraction to students and teachers.
“I would say that if a student doesn’t have a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy by the time they are in year 12, then we really should be looking at the syllabuses if there is such a problem,” Mr Teys said.
The head of girls’ school St Catherine’s, Julie Townsend, said the online test would encourage “teaching to the test”.
Dr Townsend said students would be divided into those who would qualify for the HSC and those who would not.
“What this will do is create two levels of students and and they will possibly ask themselves if they are even capable or worthy of an HSC,” Dr Townsend said.
“I think it has the potential to put enormous amounts of stress on students that will start as early as year 9.”
Dr Townsend said she feared it was a “cynical attempt” to raise the NAPLAN results so NSW would “look better nationally and internationally”.
Wendy Barel, principal of Masada College in St Ives, said the additional test would put “a huge amount of pressure” on students.
“I know that many schools will teach to the test, but we don’t do that at Masada because we are trying to teach our students to think analytically,” Ms Barel said.
But despite the opposition, other leading independent heads, including Jenny Allum from the girls’ school SCEGGS Darlinghurst, believe the online test would not be an unnecessary burden on students and would ensure students have appropriate literacy and numeracy skills by the time they reach the HSC.
Martine Beaumont, who has a son in year 9 at a public high school, is leading a campaign by concerned parents to have the online exam abolished.
Ms Beaumont said she had been seeking a meeting with the Education Minister, Rob Stokes, or NESA to raise the group’s concerns.
“We are suggesting to parents that they boycott year 9 NAPLAN this year because that would give kids another year before they are labelled a failure,” Ms Beaumont said.
“You could have kids who are brilliant at maths but miserable at writing made to feel like they cannot manage their HSC.”
The NSW opposition education spokesman, Jihad Dib, said the new exam would be easier than NAPLAN.
“There is nothing to indicate that the online test is set at a band 8 level, in fact what I am hearing is it is set at a lower level,” Mr Dib said.
“What I want to know is whether the government is going to provide any more resources to help these students who they say need to do another test.”