NAPLAN’s ‘misuse’ may result in harm

Elizabeth Lee.

RATHER than echoing doubts about NAPLAN, the ACT government should be addressing the way it’s misused, says shadow Minister for Education Elizabeth Lee.

Ms Lee brings this to light after the ACT Auditor-General, last year, highlighted the government’s failure to effectively use NAPLAN in ACT government schools.

“Despite the ACT government spending more per student than any other State or Territory, ACT schools performed poorly when compared with students in other metropolitan jurisdictions,” she says.

“Considering Labor has presided over ACT schools for almost two decades, it’s hardly surprising the government would prefer to discredit this fact rather than to use it to improve academic outcomes. 

“Many teachers and principals have told me that NAPLAN is a valuable resource when it is used as it was intended – as a diagnostic tool with an ability to look at the longitudinal picture of how our children are performing.

“This informs ways in which we can better support our students’ educational needs.

“If NAPLAN is being used for purposes beyond its original intention, and in ways that may be resulting in harm, then its misuse should certainly be looked at.

“I would welcome a review where all stakeholders in the government and non-government sector have an opportunity to express their views so that NAPLAN can get back to being the useful diagnostic tool and data source to support learning that it was intended to be.”


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