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NAPLAN writing task

Posted by Garry Collins, AATE President on 6 May 2014
  • An edited version of the letter below appeared in The Courier-Mail of Tuesday 6 May 2014 under the heading “NAPLAN change not a fix”. The underlined words were deleted and the bracketed ones inserted.

Practising for the NAPLAN writing test

The chief executive of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority is reported as saying that randomised writing tasks will be used in future to deter schools from excessive (NAPLAN) practice for the NAPLAN tests (“NAPLAN pain in the arts”, 5 May).

In the past, schools have known in advance what type of writing - narrative or persuasive - students will be required to produce in the 40 minute writing component. While no doubt well intentioned, keeping the text type a secret (the move) is quite likely to see schools devote even more time to practice so that all possibilities are covered.

The fundamental problem is that the NAPLAN tests have been made (are) high stakes for schools.

Until that changes, the program will continue to do more harm than (it will) good to the overall education of the country’s young people.

Garry Collins
President, Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE)

Author: Garry Collins, AATE President
About: Garry Collins is the Immediate Past President of ETAQ and began a 2 year term as AATE President on 1 January 2014. A retired high school English teacher, he now works in the School of Education at the University of Queensland as a sessional tutor in English curriculum courses.
Tags: Assessment

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