Teachers agree to NAPLAN testing

AFTER threatening to boycott the national NAPLAN test, the Australian Education Union (AEU) has confirmed that the tests will go ahead over the next two weeks.

Chris Goudcamp, Far North Coast coordinator Australian Education Union, said that the change of plan is due to Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard putting the formation of a working party on the negotiating table.

“The working group will look at the My School website and see how the presentation of data can be modified,” he said.

“This proposal was deemed good enough by the NSW Teachers Federation and they have endorsed the lifting of the moratorium. This would not have been possible without the strength shown by the teachers in Australian public schools.”

NAPLAN, or the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy, is an annual diagnostic testing initiative, sat by students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 around Australia each year, covering numeracy, reading, writing and language conventions (spelling, punctuation and grammar).

The AEU had previously threatened to boycott the tests because it believed the results published on the My School website were misleading for parents.

Ms Gillard said the tests would proceed next week without the threat of disruption, saying the union had made a ‘sensible’ decision.

“The Rudd Government is committed to transparency and as a result has worked with education ministers around the country to create the My School website,” she said.

“The My School website will be updated with this year’s test results.”’

Ms Gillard said the Government would ask the Australian Curriculum, Reporting and Assessment Authority (ACARA) to set up a working group with literacy and numeracy specialists, principal organisations and representatives of the Independent Education Union and the AEU.

The working group would help to provide further advice on the use of student performance data. Ms Gillard said this advice would be used to develop ‘additional improvements’ to the My School website.

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