Questions are being raised about the effectiveness of NAPLAN, on the eve of the annual test.
It’s an anxious time as pressure mounts for parents and students alike.
Cobey Bartels reports.
Two hundred and twenty thousand Queensland students will sit NAPLAN tests tomorrow.
Not all students feel the pressure, with some accepting it as just a point-in-time test.
Jasmine Taube, Year 7 student: “Well, try your best, never give up, have a go. It’s ok to fail.”
Many parents are finding the tests increasingly stressful.
Cheryl Taube, Mother: “I think it’s a bit stressful. Teachers are saying don’t be stressed, don’t be stressed. You know, it’s ok to do these tests at a younger age so you get used to doing tests.”
The Queensland Teachers Union don’t agree with the pressures placed on students and educators.
Julie Brown, Vice President, Queensland Teachers Union: “I think it’s detrimental. Particularly for young children in year three doing it. I think that’s outrageous. Why would we put that much pressure on seven and eight year olds.”
South Australian Senator Penny Wright helped secure a Senate inquiry into NAPLAN.
Senator Penny Wright Greens, S.A: “There’s consequent risks of boring students, narrowing the curriculum because they’re not teaching other subjects, or not spending as much time on other subjects, and reflecting to the children they’re teaching week after week, the high stakes nature of the testing.”
Experts agree the NAPLAN model does need review, as increasing significance is placed on the test.
Dr Meg Noack, Lutheran Education Queensland: “I think it’s important because culturally over time, NAPLAN has developed a significance in the community that is not appropriate.”
For students in grades 3, 5, 7 and 9, it’s time to sharpen your pencils.
Cobey Bartels, QUT News.