We need to talk about NAPLAN and what it does to students

I AM reluctant to pen yet another editorial piece on standardised testing but hey, it's NAPLAN time so it seems fitting.

I understand the need to measure where students are at in their development. We have benchmarks and we need to be able to see if students are meeting them or whether intervention is needed.

The issue I have is the importance based around it - as if it's the only test that matters. It's not.

I imagine as a parent it can be hard not to send a mixed message about that.

Of course children should give it their best but the end result shouldn't make or break them.

The issues around anxiety and distress that come up every year when NAPLAN and QCS tests come along need to be addressed.

Don't discard NAPLAN but along with the curriculum being taught, there needs to be an emphasis on coping mechanisms students can draw on before, during and after the tests.


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