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Greens secure NAPLAN inquiry

Media Release
Penny Wright 15 May 2013

The Australian Greens have secured a Senate inquiry into NAPLAN testing to examine widespread concern the tests are having unintended consequences on teaching and student learning.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools, Senator Penny Wright, said marketers were seizing on the stress created by high-stakes testing.

"NAPLAN should be about maths, not marketing. It should be about literacy, not an industry," Senator Wright said.

"NAPLAN was intended to provide important information on student performance and highlight students most in need of help.

"Instead, it has become a high-stakes test that is narrowing the curriculum and being used to compare schools through the MySchool site.

"This has taken the focus away from students. Parents are so concerned about consequences of NAPLAN testing they're hiring private tutors or switching schools, based on the MySchool site.

"On top of that, you have fish-oil salesmen pushing dietary supplements, special NAPLAN teddy bears and NAPLAN training books on the best-seller list.

"No child's education or opportunity should be dependent on their parents' ability to pay for private tutoring or test booklets.

"After six years, it is time to re-evaluate the test to make sure it's doing what it's supposed to and putting kids' learning first."

The terms of reference for the Senate Inquiry can be found here.

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