NAPLAN data delayed - results invalid?

QTU President's comments, 8 August 2018

An ABC news story has today revealed a major problem with the 2018 NAPLAN data which means that data from the paper and online version is not comparable.  ABC news “NAPLAN results delayed over concerns results invalid”

Queensland voluntarily withdrew from NAPLAN Online in 2017 over significant concerns with the test and the delivery platform. Late last year QTU members voted in massive numbers to ban the use of NAPLAN Online in Queensland state schools in 2018. QTU members wanted a review of NAPLAN tests and serious action by government to address their high stakes nature, negative impacts on students and workload issues for teachers and principals. On both occasions most Queensland state school students completed the paper version of the test.

It has now been revealed that there are major flaws in the test data due to the introduction of the online version of the test and that the national body charged with delivering NAPLAN has not done its homework.

The decision by QTU members to insist on a detailed review of the NAPLAN test and the deferral of NAPLAN Online has been vindicated.

Fewer than 20 Queensland state schools completed the 2018 NAPLAN test online. The flaws revealed in media reports today will have little impact on Queensland state school students. The Queensland Government has wisely committed to a full review of NAPLAN at the state level. The federal government has, to date, refused to address the concerns of the community, especially a growing number of parents, academics and the professionals with responsibility for providing education for our children, teachers and principals.

The CEO of the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) wrote to schools and parents on the eve of the 2018 NAPLAN test promising that data would be comparable. The federal Education Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham, proclaimed in the media that the online version of the test was a “roaring success”. From as early as June, the problems revealed today have been under discussion as ACARA and the federal Minister scramble to retrieve the mess they have created. It is now time for the reckless actions of the federal government, especially the Minister directly responsible, to be accounted for.

NAPLAN must be reviewed root and branch. QTU members, Queensland teachers and principals, took appropriate action to hold off the online version of the test and the state government has begun a local review of NAPLAN. The rest of the country would do well to follow our lead.

Kevin Bates

8 August 2018

QTU President's comments:

The state budget was brought down on Tuesday 17 June, incorporating the commitments made to education, both schools and TAFE, by the Palaszczuk government in the 2020 state election.
QTU President Kevin Bates takes an initial look at what’s in the Budget for education and educators
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