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NAPLAN results don’t tell the full story behind Australia’s lack of education progress

Bronwyn Hinz and Megan O’Connell write in The Conversation (3.8.16) about the results from the latest round of NAPLAN student assessments, and argue that critics of state performances in literacy and numeracy need to look beyond the ‘artificial’ rankings measures for a better picture of achievement levels.

‘The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results released on Wednesday show Australian students are making few gains in literacy and numeracy. National average performance scores in grades 3, 5, 7, and 9 have barely shifted since the standardised tests began almost ten years ago.

‘But averages don’t tell the full story. Diving into the details is essential to understand what is going on in Australian education.

‘… Queensland’s education reforms and increased investments in preschool and early primary school, and stronger focus on how teachers teach, are showing up in 2016 scores that are substantially above their 2008 levels. It still trails Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT (in part due to socioeconomic and geographic factors), but it is improving at a much faster rate.’

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