The Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland governments have released the Terms of Reference for their broad review of NAPLAN and standardised testing of school students.
The Review will identify what a standardised testing regime in Australian schools should deliver, assess how well NAPLAN achieves this, and identify short and longer-term improvements that can be made. While a form of standardised test will always be needed, this review will include looking at whether NAPLAN should continue in its current form.
The review will consider whether NAPLAN is meeting the needs of governments, schools, parents and students – including how accurate and appropriate the test is, whether the right year levels are being tested and how well the test assesses student and system performance over time.
The Review will draw on evidence from international assessment programs and other recent reviews of NAPLAN to identify best practice and inform the Review’s recommendations. A panel of education experts will lead the review including Emeritus Professor Barry McGaw, Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith and Emeritus Professor William Louden.
The panel will present their interim findings and immediate improvements to Education Council in December, and a final report in 2020. A full list of the terms of reference is available at www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/naplan-review.aspx.
As noted by Victorian Education Minister James Merlino
“NAPLAN has been in place for more than decade – it is common sense to review it and see what changes we should make to ensure it is meeting the needs of schools, parents and students.”
“The review may lead to significant change or it may recommend scrapping NAPLAN all together and replacing it with something new – but we will always need some form of standardised testing.”