The impact of high stakes testing: the Australian story
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High stakes testing in Australia was introduced in 2008 by way of the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). Currently, every year all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are assessed on the same days using national tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Numeracy. In 2010 the NAPLAN results were published on the Federal Government MySchool website. The impact of these high stakes tests on jurisdictions, school principals, parents and students is considered in this article. We draw on reported observations from the Australian Primary Principals Association during 2009-10 testing periods across the country and published Australian research on the impact of high stakes literacy and numeracy testing. We also examine alternative approaches that include the use of assessment evidence for learning improvement purposes and for accountability purposes. In considering alternatives to the current large-scale testing approach we draw on key insights from research on teacher judgement, achievement standards and social moderation in the context of national curriculum and assessment reform in support of the suggested directions forward.
Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice
© 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, Volume 19, Issue 1, 2012, pages 65-79. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.
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Education Assessment and Evaluation