Monday, 27 August 2018

NAPLAN Farce

This year's NAPLAN tests are so flawed the results of 1 million students "should be discarded", according to two international experts who have issued scathing criticism of the national system.

US professors Les Perelman and Walt Haney, both renowned authorities on assessment, claim the results are of "very limited use" to parents, teachers and schools.

US professors Les Perelman and Walt Haney, both renowned authorities on assessment, claim the results are of "very limited use" to parents, teachers and schools.

The professors' findings are contained in a report commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation following the recent furore surrounding the comparability of online and pen-and-paper test results.

The Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (ACARA) assured schools its methods for scaling and equating test scores are statistically sound.

But Professor Haney, the former longtime head of the Centre for the Study of Testing at Boston College, said numerous studies had shown there were "enormous" differences between the two modes.

"There's no way that you can successfully equate the results for a large number of schools, much less for a large number of students, to take into account the well-documented effects of mode of administration on the results of the test," Professor Haney told the ABC.

"If the administration there is trying to claim that the results of the computer tests can be reasonably compared with the results of past tests, I would say that on the basis of research that I've done and that I know of, that is potentially very misleading.

"I would say that there may have been some naive people in the leadership of education administration in Australia who were simply not aware of what is traditionally required to reliably equate the results of different test administrations."

KEY POINTS:

·         Two US professors say online and pen-and-paper tests cannot be compared

·         They say 2018 NAPLAN results are of "very limited use" and should be discarded

·         Sydney University expert says tests can be compared if the right scaling methods are used

 

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