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Record NAPLAN withdrawal rates should prompt national rethink

Media Release
Penny Wright 10 Dec 2014

The Australian Greens are calling on the Abbott Government to honour a pre-election commitment to overhaul NAPLAN testing, as the latest national report reveals the number of children withdrawn from the annual tests has reached a record high.

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright says too much emphasis is being placed on the reading and writing tests, at the expense of other skills like critical thinking and creativity.

"NAPLAN has become a high-stakes test, putting huge pressure on students and teachers," Senator Wright said.

"Publishing school results on the MySchool site has introduced a competitive element which encourages teaching to the test and can lead to incidences of cheating or withdrawal of low performing students."

Earlier this year, a Senate Inquiry initiated by Senator Wright into NAPLAN testing found the tests had drifted from their original diagnostic purpose and as many of two thirds of principals believe the tests have a negative impact on student wellbeing.

She said the release of the 2014 NAPLAN report should prompt action from the Federal Government.

"More and more parents are simply opting out of the NAPLAN tests - they're deciding it's just not worth it for their children.

"It is time for an overhaul of NAPLAN so that these tests can again be about helping kids learn."

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