Teachers warn NAPLAN replacement ‘even worse’
THE teachers' union has slammed the touted replacement for NAPLAN despite relentlessly calling for the standardised testing to be scrapped, warning the new assessment would be even worse.
The latest independent review of NAPLAN produced radical recommendations to replace it with a broader test called The Australian National Standardised Assessment (ANSA).
But despite the Queensland Teachers' Union's long-standing opposition to NAPLAN, it said its potential replacement would only "compound the suffering" of students by expanding the test, rather than abolishing it.
The QTU said the review "fundamentally fails to address the problems of NAPLAN and instead proposes to replace it with a more comprehensive, high stakes, standardised, census test," in a newsletter.
Changing or replacing NAPLAN would require consensus from the Education Council which comprises the nation's Education ministers.
However, the QTU has already warned it would ballot its members over a complete ban on NAPLAN if the testing remains or is replaced.
The QTU newsletter said if nothing changes schools would be "stuck with a dud test that costs a fortune and continues to damage students while, for two of the last three years at least, producing useless information.
"If all Ministers agree to the proposal in the final report of the Review of NAPLAN 2020 then everything will change, but for the worse."
However, Centre for Independent Studies research fellow Glenn Fahey said education policy could no longer be held hostage by education unions.
"It's only too predictable that the QTU has resorted to trotting out tired arguments against NAPLAN and any effort to reform our national assessment," he said.
Mr Fahey said the latest review correctly diagnosed many of the issues affecting the education system but didn't hit the mark on many recommendations.
"The Education Council should not entertain any recommendations which reduce educational accountability - such as the idea of reporting results from a new baseline," he said.
Mr Fahey added the best way to improve the testing regime was to keep NAPLAN, and commit to upgrading it, not rebadging it.
The proposed replacement has already sparked contentious debate and a cloud hangs over any changes to the test given public opposition from Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan already.
Mr Tehan said the Queensland Teachers' Union didn't want transparency and accountability in education.
"Our Government believes that parents and students deserve to know about the quality of education they received.
Mr Tehan told The Courier-Mail he would tell the Education Council that NAPLAN was the best tool to understand the impact of COVID-19 on children's education and to inform what action needs to be taken.
He added that the Federal Government's position was that all states and territories should transition to NAPLAN online to deliver faster results and data that would provide a richer understanding of student and system performance.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the review was just another step in improving standardised testing for students, teachers and parents.
"We need to work through all the recommendations and come to a consensus decision at Education Council about the best way forward," she said.
Queensland Teachers' Union President Kevin Bates said the teachers union, the voice of 48,000 teachers and principals, was not against accountability or transparency and advocated against NAPLAN in the best interest of teachers and students.
He said there was a "world of evidence" that the testing regime was broken and should not continue.
Originally published as Teachers warn NAPLAN replacement 'even worse'