More than 1 million students are currently sitting down to complete the NAPLAN test and one principal has come out with a message for parents. Mr Paul Marshall, principal at Emmaus Christian School in Canberra, has told parents they could withdraw their children from the exams. The principal stated on the school’s website, ‘I have several issues with the NAPLAN testing regime’. ‘One of them is that the results take so long to get back to us, so long that they do not benefir the teachers or students’. On average it takes six months for NAPLAN results to get back to schools. Mr Marshall had further advice for parents, stating that ‘the decision to allow your children to sit the NAPLAN tests rest with you’.
National rates of withdrawal from the NAPLAN tests have grown since it was first introduced in 2008, with the withdrawal rate for year 3 mathematics, for example, growing from 0.5% in 2008 to 1.9% in 2012. Another issue currently facing NAPLAN is that parents seem to view the tests as an assessment of the school’s performance, with Mr Marshall stating that this was ‘akin to judging the quality of a hospital on a snap check of the health of its patients’
Despite this a spokesperson for the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Austhority (ACARA) which runs the tests, said that participation rates remained high and it expected ‘all students to sit NAPLAN’.