Supporting the independent education community

News release: Do you want your child judged by a robot?

A move towards automated marking of NAPLAN English exams undermines teacher professionalism, promotes poor practice and should be a cause of concern to parents, Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT (IEU) Secretary John Quessy said.

Plans by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to use automated marking for the persuasive writing tests in NAPLAN exams have come under fire from Dr Les Perelman, an international expert in writing assessment from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr Perelman was commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation to review ACARA's plans. Dr Perelman said numerous studies had shown automated marking was “flawed”.

The automated marking would be administered by education publisher Pearson Australia.

Quessy said the IEU was concerned about the growing commercial influence of companies such as Pearson Australia on education, and the domination of NAPLAN on educational planning.

He said teachers have never been consulted over the introduction of the automated marking, even though ACARA has plans for NAPLAN marking to be automated by 2020.

“Students and parents would have a reasonable expectation that a trained human – a teacher – would mark their written responses. The HSC has been developed over 50 years and is always double marked by two expert teachers.

“NAPLAN is undermining tried and tested educational practices which rely on the experience, judgment and professionalism of trained teachers, in favour of a machine marking. One would wonder where this will end?”

Read the full news release here