NAPLAN: Letter writer Tracey McWilliam says MP Tony Perrett's insight into NAPLAN is false, unsupported by facts and pretty rich coming from a party that hasn't got an education policy.
NAPLAN: Letter writer Tracey McWilliam says MP Tony Perrett's insight into NAPLAN is false, unsupported by facts and pretty rich coming from a party that hasn't got an education policy. Philippe Coquerand

Perrett says NAPLAN 'won't fix the problem' - what problem?

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

TONY, Tony, Tony, what do you actually know about NAPLAN (The Gympie Times, September 3, 2019), introduced more than 10 years ago.

Over time, the purpose and use of this data has changed regularly. At a point in time NAPLAN results were presented in league tables as some sort of judgment about a school's overall success.

As one of many teachers who has prepared for, encouraged and comforted children about the testing, I think my profession might have a good idea about its usefulness.

 

Year 4 Students Ruby Ballinger, Chace Phillips and Lexi Basten-Byrne from Yandina State School which is one of Australia's top improving schools in Naplan Reading results.
Year 4 Students Ruby Ballinger, Chace Phillips and Lexi Basten-Byrne from Yandina State School which is one of Australia's top improving schools in Naplan Reading results. Lachie Millard

Firstly, undertaken in May each year by students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, the results of which are not available until three to four months later. Useful?

Well, students can make huge leaps of progress in that time.

The premise around Mr Perrett's comments and many others from his party, is that teachers would not know where their students were at without NAPLAN. What an absolute insult to the teaching profession.

 

Gympie MP Tony Perrett is in hot water after his NAPLAN comments this week.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett is in hot water after his NAPLAN comments this week. Cassandra Glover

Secondly, this idea that unions have direct influence over curriculum is just a falsehood.

In terms of NAPLAN, our union, the QTU is supportive of teachers', leading academics' and representatives from both sides of politics' call for a review.

Three state governments, Queensland, NSW and Victoria have concluded that a program over 10 years old needs reviewing.

The Federal Liberal National Coalition government is asleep on this issue. We know the LNP in Queensland do not like public education, do not properly support it and take every opportunity to criticise the teaching profession.

 

Year 7 students seeing how the new NAPLAN online setup operates.
Year 7 students seeing how the new NAPLAN online setup operates. Contributed

Mr Perrett says NAPLAN "won't fix the problem", but does not state what he thinks the problem is.

The only "problem" that I am aware of in Queensland's state education is the funding model.

Gonski 1 was the answer. David Gonski and his panel identified the answer is "Needs Based Funding". Something the Federal Government just cannot get their heads around. Currently the coalition provides 80 per cent funding to private schools and a measly 20 per cent for public schools.

Mr Perrett, you say "common sense would tell you that parents, teachers and principals make the best decisions for their own schools".

This statement contradicts your apparent support for NAPLAN in its current form.

In fact, your whole insight (The Gympie Times, September 3) is unclear, unsupported by any facts and pretty rich coming from a member of a party that does not even have an education policy.

Tracey McWilliam,

Gympie

Gympie Times


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