Liked Why the NAPLAN results delay is a storm in a teacup by Jim Tognolini (The Conversation)

The real issue underpinning the controversy is the misuse of NAPLAN data. It was never intended that NAPLAN data would be used for fine-grained comparison of students.

The MySchool website has contributed to the misuse of NAPLAN data. For example, the scores from the site are being used to make comparisons irrespective of the “error bands” that need to be taken into account when making comparisons. People are ascribing a level of precision to the results that was never intended when the tests were developed. The test was never designed to be high-stakes and the results should not be used as such.

When people challenge the “validity” of the NAPLAN test, they should be challenging the validity of the use of the results. NAPLAN has a high degree of validity, but we need to understand it better and use the results in a more judicious and defensible manner. The correct use of NAPLAN data is a major issue and it needs to be addressed as a matter of priority.

Liked The NAPLAN online controversy is about a failure of meaning, and not about a failure of technology by Marten Koomen (Tulip Education)
The inability of NAPLAN to reflect broader developments in society is being exposed by the transition to NAPLAN online. The latest NAPLAN controversy is not the result of a glitch or technical incompetence. Instead, the controversy exposes a broader conceptual problem in Australian education. Australian policy-makers and commentators have been spoiled by Australia coming of high-base of educational performance, and by an abundance of educational data that allows for broad and sweeping policy commentary. However, this approach is leading to a continued decline in Australian educational achievement. NAPLAN online exposes the need to reconnect educational assessment with the world that students experience.
Replied to Building the Windmill (or knocking it down again?) by Darcy Moore (Darcy Moore's Blog)
It is easy to be wise after the event but it was clear to everyone in education at the time what this kind of standardised testing (soon to be turned into pseudo-league tables) would do to our schools and communities. Now, we are all about to embark on the next iteration of school reform with many of the same players in place and the same kind of flawed, grand educational policy about to start afresh. One can only hope we do not forget the lessons of Animal Farm for those of us who have to carry out the real work of planning for the never-ending rebuilding of The Windmill.
It feels like people are picking and choosing the bits that they like in the new Gonski review, I wonder though whether we can have the collaboration without the newfound accountability?

Anyway, off to push the rock to the top of the hill once again.

Bookmarked It’s time to be honest with parents about NAPLAN: your child’s report is misleading, here’s how by By Nicole Mockler (EduResearch Matters)

At the national level, however, the story is different. What NAPLAN is good for, and indeed what it was originally designed for, is to provide a national snapshot of student ability, and conducting comparisons between different groups (for example, students with a language background other than English and students from English-speaking backgrounds) on a national level.

This is important data to have. It tells us where support and resources are needed in particular. But we could collect the data we need this by using a rigorous sampling method, where a smaller number of children are tested (a sample) rather than having every student in every school sit tests every few years. This a move that would be a lot more cost effective, both financially and in terms of other costs to our education system.

Nicole Mockler summarises Margaret Wu’s work.around the limitations to NAPLAN in regards to statistical testing. Moving forward, Mockler suggests that NAPLAN should become a sample based test (like PISA) and is better suited as a tool for system wide analysis. To me, there is a strange balance where on the one hand many agree that NAPLAN is flawed, yet again and again we return to it as a source of ‘truth’.
Listened TER #111 – Learning and Wellbeing with Helen Street – 29 April 2018 from Teachers' Education Review
Links and notes coming soon! Timecodes: 00:00:00 Opening Credits 00:01:31 Intro 00:02:28 NAPLAN in the news 00:15:04 Feature Introduction 00:16:32 Off Campus – Dan Haesler 00:18:44 Dr Helen S…
Cameron Malcher provides a useful summary of the recent discussions of NAPLAN in the news:

📓 Measuring NAPLAN Performance

In a message to parents, I came across the following explanation of NAPLAN:

The tests provide parents and schools with an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of tests.

This is such a hard thing to communicate. It is easy to read ‘performing’ as some sort of exact since, such as Johnny got 33 out of 40 in the recent test on whatever. The problem though is that NAPLAN is not ‘exact’ either at the time or as a measurement of growth. This is highlighted by Richard Olsen in his look at the limitations:

In practice, NAPLAN relative growth is a so unreliable that I cannot believe that it is a suitable measure and I would personally discourage anyone from using it. The narrow range of questions that define average growth, compounded by the error inherent to NAPLAN’s testing method make it an extremely unreliable measure.

I think that Margaret Wu captures this best when she explains:

In summary, we would say that a NAPLAN test only provides an indicative level of the performance of a student: whether the student is struggling, on track, or performing above average. The NAPLAN tests do not provide fine grading of students by their performance levels because of the large uncertainties associated with the ability measures.

Liked NAPLAN writing test is no better than an internet rant (The Sydney Morning Herald)
What we really need, both in schools and in the real world, is a shift away from arguing to win, and towards rhetoric as understanding. It’s a genre that Associate Professor Larissa McLean Davies at The University of Melbourne has labelled the "treaty" genre. Under this genre of writing students must show empathy, try to understand other points of view, and find a solution rather than just win an argument.
Bookmarked NAPLAN's writing test is 'bizarre' but here's how kids can get top marks (ABC News)
Last October, Dr Perelman was commissioned to conduct a review of ACARA's planned automated essay-scoring known as "robot marking". His review was critical, sparked concern among education ministers, and finally led to the scrapping of the plan.
I love the addition of a guide how to game the test. I remember a friend doing something similar during VCE, where he intentionally focused on learning words to really refine his writing. Might have been different, but seems a long way from Orwell’s idea of the English language.