New NAPLAN Testing Reveals Students Are Falling Behind In The Classroom

One in three Australian children are not meeting minimum NAPLAN numeracy and literacy standards while one in 10 require additional support for being so behind.

The latest NAPLAN data, collected this year under tougher and new criteria, also revealed Indigenous, rural, and lower socio-economic students were performing poorer than their classmates.

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The revamped system saw students complete the entire test online in term one, not in term two, with harder proficiency levels and a new measurement scale.

Under the new scaling system, students were compared against previous years of school and ranked on four levels of proficiency: “exceeding”, “strong”, “developing” and “needs additional support”.

The results revealed while 15 per cent of students were “exceeding” and 51 per cent were “strong”, 23 per cent were “developing” while 10 per cent “needs additional support”.

A final two per cent of students were exempt from sitting NAPLAN testing.

Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare told the ABC the new testing system provided a better reflection of students’ performances in the classroom.

“These results show the changes we have made to NAPLAN have raised the bar.”

“We have raised the minimum standard students are now expected to meet, so we can really identify the students who need additional support [and] provide them with that support.”

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Mr Clare then told The Australian the government would pledged to prioritise funding for schools most disadvantaged first.

“This report makes it blisteringly clear that if you are a child from a poor family, from the regions or if you are Indigenous, you are more likely to fall behind at school,’’ he said.

“Not a lot of children who fall behind catch up.

“That’s why we have seen in the last six years a drop in the percentage of young people from poor families and public schools finishing school.’’

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