2009 NAPLAN Data

The NAPLAN data was released today with little surprises. Clearly there is the continuing need to work harder and in ways that are more innovative in order to improve data for Australia’s Aboriginal students.


What is significant here is that we at last have some means by which to benchmark and compare our school performance nationally, that is, parents of children in remote Aboriginal community schools can get some sense of how their child’s performance compares to that of children in other parts of Australia. It can no longer be the case that an ‘A’ in Aurukun for example, can somehow be less worthy than an ‘A’ in Toorak, Melbourne.


It is worth noting that whilst the NAPLAN data is in many ways extremely useful, we should not ‘overestimate’ their value and pretend that this tells the complete story about our children in schools. There is more useful data in respective schools that offers a more useful insight into a child’s education performance. This can vary dramatically from school to school, but should be better at telling the story about intellectual ‘distance travelled’ for each child.


Against this background I urge educators in Australia’s public schools to be proud of their tenacious efforts if they have a good story to tell about ‘distance travelled’ for children in their classrooms, and warn the flash elite private schools not to crow too loudly if they think NAPLAN data suggests they are the best. Intellectual ‘distance travelled’ or ‘value adding’ to children, particularly those from complex social backgrounds, is the story that signals who are the best educators.


3 Responses

  1. Couldn’t agree more, it’s great for all that our results have improved but important to remember that these tests are but one very small piece of the pie, not the whole pie!

  2. Yes, we must remember that these results are just a piece of the pie, however, we should be stiving to better them each year. I know it can be done!

  3. Is the NAPLAN data available for the public to download anywhere?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: