NAPLAN on a crash course
QUEENSLAND schools are rebelling against online NAPLAN tests due to be rolled out next year.
One-third of all state schools set to run kids through mock online numeracy and literacy tests last term, boycotted the trial, causing doubt that they will want to do the real tests online next year. This year’s planned switch to digital NAPLAN at selected schools in Queensland was halted just one month before testing day, due to concerns about access and reliability.
The tests went ahead in May, on paper, for all Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students and online trials were to be held at 184 Queensland schools in August and September next year.
However, 60 schools decided to withdraw or take no further part in the trial and there are now plans for a statewide vote on the issue by the Queensland Teachers Union (QTU).
Nationally, the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority is pushing for the online system which it says will offer tests tailored to a student’s perform- ance and faster return of results to schools.
QTU president Kevin Bates said a decision was needed now and should not be left to the last minute again.
“We don’t want the cancellation of NAPLAN online to happen next year in May. We want it to happen now so schools can have certainty,” he said.
He said there were still con- cerns about the online platform crashing mid-test, leaving kids even more stressed, as well as issues around all schools having an even playing field of computer equipment.
“We are not confident there is a process that would lead to 100 per cent reliability and that’s what you need when you’ve got young people who are already in a high-stress test situation, to actually not be more stressed having the system crash on them when they are part way through their test,” he said.
Education Minister Kate Jones said she had received an update on the key events to take place prior to any implementation of NAPLAN online at last month’s Education Council meeting but no decision had been made.