NAPLAN results show drop in writing - Education Matters Magazine
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NAPLAN results show drop in writing

The latest NAPLAN results for 2017 show school students’ results have improved slightly since the tests were first introduced.

The results show nationally there has been a 0.72 per cent improvement in reading results and a 0.81 per cent increase for numeracy for students across years 5, 3, 7 and 9. However, writing performance has dropped by half a per cent.

Overall reading scores across the nation have improved 0.72 per cent since last year, but writing is down 0.55 per cent and over the long-term it is down by more than two per cent since 2011.

Federal Government Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the writing results were “a real concern”.

“We should always acknowledge that Australia has a high performing education system by world standards with hard working principals, teachers and good school communities,” Minister Birmingham told ABC Radio.

“So this is improvement in writing, in reading and numeracy off of a high base, but the writing results are of course really a worry and I’ll be talking to state and territory ministers as part of our school reforms about how we can turn that around.”

When asked when the Gonski 2.0 reforms would be reflected in future NAPLAN results, Mr Birmingham said the Government had already delivered a number of reforms to assist initial teacher training, particularly specialist teachers arriving in primary schools.

“These are positive reforms that will start to make a difference in the coming years. But this will be a continual process. Australia, to keep up with the rest of the world in education, must improve year-on-year,” he said.

ACARA CEO Robert Randall said the data showed there had been improvement across all year levels in most domains when comparing the results over a 10-year period.

“Importantly, we see a gradual redistribution of students from lower bands of achievement to higher ones, particularly in some domains and year levels, such as Year 3 reading,” he said.

“In other areas, this improvement has not always been great enough to significantly impact national averages, but it is certainly a positive trend.”

Queensland and Western Australia have shown the most improvement since 2008.

Highlights of this year’s NAPLAN results include:
• There is evidence of movement of students from lower to higher bands of achievement across year levels and most domains over the last 10 years
• Year 3 reading results continue to show sustained improvement
• ACT, Victoria and NSW continue to have high mean achievement across all
• There are increases in mean achievement in the Northern Territory in primary years
reading and numeracy since 2008
• WA and Queensland have the largest growth in mean achievement across most
domains since 2008
• Percentage of students meeting the national minimum standard remains high – over
90 per cent nationally and in most states and territories, across all domains and year levels

The data also show that, compared with 2016, there is no improvement in average results across the country that is considered significant.

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