NAPLAN 2019: Reasons to be cheerful

By Jennifer Buckingham


There were some dramatic headlines when the preliminary results from the 2019 NAPLAN tests were released earlier this week.

“NAPLAN: $20bn flop, schools fail to lift most students’ academic results” – The Australian
“Writing wrongs: Our kids worse off 10 years after start of controversial school tests” – The Daily Telegraph
“NAPLAN results show we are failing our children” – The Courier Mail
“NAPLAN changes the way we raise our children, and not for the better” – The Sydney Morning Herald.

How accurate are these headlines?

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Misinformation about the Year 1 Phonics Check

Any education policy proposal should be scrutinised, questioned and discussed in detail. Such debate should be conducted on the basis of accurate information. In the case of the Year 1 Phonics Check, however, a great deal of misinformation is being promulgated which is creating confusion rather than clarity.

A recent example is a blog post in EduResearch Matters by Dr Paul Gardner, who has previously written articles about the Year 1 Phonics Check and its impact in English schools, to which I provided substantive corrections.

Dr Gardner’s blog published last week makes a number of claims that are incorrect. The entire blog is quoted in sections here and I respond briefly in turn.

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