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NAPLAN validity called into question

 

Peak bodies, teachers, parents and students are questioning the validity and future of NAPLAN testing after the disastrous roll-out of the online test last week.

Thousands of students were affected last week by computer glitches and connectivity issues that plagued the first e-test trials of the NAPLAN tests. 50 percent of all students were shifted to the fully online model this year, as education authorities continue pushing towards the new online testing model, which is currently slated to finish rolling out next year under an agreement with state and federal education ministers.

But after the disastrous outcomes of last weeks trial, there is a rising concern over the validity of results, and the test itself. NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has called for a halt to the national rollout of online testing until the issues that plagued the system have been ironed out. 

Students affected by the issues will be offered the chance to re-sit the exams, but some schools have chosen to opt out of the re-testing, or offered parents the option to opt out if they would prefer. 

 

“Understandably, some students may have been distressed or impacted to an extent that may have affected their performance in the assessment,” the letters stated.

 

Many private schools are amongst those opting against a second round of exams, with SCEGGS Darlinghurst head Jenny Allum saying the tests “are not important enough to go through the rigmarole of resitting”.

A spokesman for the Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations NSW said the online test should be scrapped, “or at the very least postponed in its rollout, as it is clearly unable to deliver”.

The legitimacy of the results will now be called into question as well, with some describing the data showing current positions and ‘improvement’ trends now so compromised as to be practically useless.