NAPLAN – There’s More To It Than Meets The Eye.

NAPLAN – There’s More To It Than Meets The Eye. | 12th April, 2016 MARIANNE MULLALLY

On the weekend I saw a Year 7 boy for a consultation and we started talking about the up and coming National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests.

He and his mum were both of the opinion that the only reason for the NAPLAN tests was to provide information. This information would go to parents, teachers and principals about what students achieve. This would then be used by the government to update teaching and learning programs. So if he didn’t sit the NAPLAN tests in May, it wasn’t a big deal?

That is true, but there’s more to NAPLAN than meets the eye.

Australian children are tested every two years. (Year 3,5,7 and 9.) This is so that the Australian Government can send the results of the year 9’s to The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

*PISA is a triennial survey of the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds. The collated data and subsequent report is the product of collaboration between participating

countries and economies through the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It draws on leading international expertise to develop valid comparisons across countries and cultures.

The report establishes that the standard of education is a “powerful predictor” of the future wealth of a nation. AND that “poor education policies and practices” have left many countries in “a permanent state of recession”.

In the latest report published in 2013 from NAPLAN results,
on a global ranking. Australia’s 15 year olds ranked:
…13th – in Reading
…16th – in Science
…19th – in Maths
**The ACER director of educational monitoring and research, Sue Thomson – who wrote the Australian chapter of the PISA report – said Australia now has fewer top-performing students, and more at the bottom. She said the reading results showed Australian students were illiterate in a practical sense.

“It’s not saying they’re totally illiterate or innumerate,” she said.”But they don’t necessarily have the skills they need to participate fully in adult life.”


Our little children are being put under more and more pressure at an earlier age due to an over-crowded curriculum. They have a shallow understanding of some things… but never develop a deep understanding of anything.

With this pressure, more children will fall through the gaps. As Sue Thomson said; if they don’t have the skills to participate in adult life and get meaningful employment, then where are we headed as a society?

NAPLAN is about the bigger picture. We want to make sure Australia stays a first world country with a strong economy so we are able to help countries that are less fortunate than us.

We also need to be able to test our children against the children of the world. This is so we can ensure our kids get the knowledge and skills they will need. We want them to lead a fulfilling, meaningful and happy life in ‘the lucky country’.

marianne mullally 100
NAPLAN – There’s More To It Than Meets The Eye. 12/04/2015 Marianne Mullally. | Twitter. Naplan.

* http://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa/


Tom MullallyNAPLAN – There’s More To It Than Meets The Eye.

Comments 2

  1. Leia

    What is your opinion on children with dyslexia sitting the NAPLAN tests? Because dyslexia isn’t a disability no assistance (like a scribe or reader) is given to children with dyslexia. I was going to opt my son out of NAPLAN because of this because it won’t be indicative of what he knows, only what he can manage to get on a piece of paper. Agree/disagree?

  2. Post
    Tom Mullally

    Thanks for the comment Leia!! My opinion is these kids should do the NAPLAN tests and not be left out. Yes, the kids don’t get assistance and some schools suggest these kids don’t sit the tests or exclude them so they don’t skew the schools results. However, there is so much pressure and the kids get so stressed, it may not be worth it for them to sit. It really depends on the child.

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