November 3, EduResearch Matters AARE blog by Sally Larsen
Every year headlines proclaim the imminent demise of the nation due to terrible, horrible, very bad NAPLAN results. But if we look at variability and results over time, it’s a bit of a different story…
…As any teacher or school leader will tell you, improving students’ basic skills achievement is difficult, intensive and long-term work. Like any task worth undertaking, there will be victories and setbacks along the way. Any successes should not be overshadowed by the disaster narratives continually fostered by the 24/7 news cycle. At the same time, overinterpreting small average fluctuations doesn’t help either. Fostering a more nuanced and longer-term view when interpreting NAPLAN data, and recalling that it gives us a fairly one-dimensional view of student achievement and academic development would be a good place to start.