Replied to No, minister! Keep NAPLAN results away from student job applications (The Conversation)

The more we conflate learning with NAPLAN performance, the more we risk making misguided decisions on schooling policy and practice. The notion that threatening the future of Year 9 students will “encourage them to give their best efforts while sitting NAPLAN” is dangerous and detracts from the meaningful work occurring every day in classrooms.

I recently started reading Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities. For me this captures the problem with such things as NAPLAN where students are feed formulas to ‘pass the test’, but then struggle to find a voice in their writing. What frustrates me is that the test would achieve the same validity if it were based on a sample group as PISA is. However, there are some who want it both ways. Not only do they want the systemic pulse check, but they want the individual pulse check too.