Students could soon be sitting a completely new test, following the release of radical recommendations to turn NAPLAN on its head.
Students could soon be sitting a completely new test, following the release of radical recommendations to turn NAPLAN on its head.

REVEALED: NAPLAN set to be replaced with new test

NAPLAN could be replaced with a new test called the Australian National Standardised Assessment "ANSA" if education ministers adopt radical recommendations from a new independent review into the testing regime.

The latest independent review into the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) was today presented to the Education Council which comprises commonwealth, state and territory Education ministers.

The review's key recommendations included that NAPLAN be replaced with the new test "ANSA", and testing students in Year 10 instead of testing students in Year 9 to better inform senior subject choices.

Sweeping changes to the writing assessment and more focus on critical thinking and science, were also among the recommendations.

If adopted, ANSA would be held earlier in the year as opposed to when NAPLAN is held in May in a bid to prevent schools "teaching to the test".

It would aim for results to be returned within one week, to inform teaching and learning for the rest of the year.

However, replacing or amending NAPLAN would require consensus of the Education Council.

The review found that the lag between testing and results makes data ineffective for teachers, the writing test was flawed, the timing of the test contributes to teacher stress and student anxiety, and the test lacks contemporary content and delivery.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the review acknowledged that standardised testing should remain but needed to be improved.

"It is clear that the current NAPLAN testing is not world's best practice," Ms Grace said.

"By modernising these tests, we will be able to find a model that best suits parents, teachers and most importantly students.

The Palaszczuk Government recently promised the Queensland Teachers' Union, who have relentlessly opposed NAPLAN, to advocate for its replacement as a bid to appease the union over its anger and lobbying against the pay-rise deferral.

Ms Grace said the report proposes changes that would address issues that have been heard "loud and clear" that the "testing is onerous for teachers and too high-stakes for students".

"This review aims to make changes to NAPLAN that alleviate these concerns, all while providing valuable information to schools, parents and the wider community alike."

Since the testing began in 2008 NAPLAN has been subject to several reviews and controversy, and was this year cancelled because of COVID-19.

The latest review was commissioned by the Queensland Victorian, New South Wales and ACT governments and conducted by education experts Emeritus Professor Barry McGaw AO, Emeritus Professor William Louden AM and Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith.

Originally published as REVEALED: NAPLAN set to be replaced with new test


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