Standardised testing in schools an important diagnostic tool

Standardised testing in ACT schools is an important diagnostic tool when used appropriately. It should be retained and enhanced, Shadow Education Minister Elizabeth Lee said.

The findings of a committee inquiry into standardised testing in ACT schools were handed down in the ACT Legislative Assembly today.

The committee found that when used appropriately, standardised testing is an important diagnostic tool for assessing academic performance, recommending a public inquiry into the causes of observed underperformance in ACT schools.

Ms Lee said the report showed that many of the criticisms of NAPLAN and other standardised testing by the Education Minister were neither accurate nor supported by research.

“Evidence that was put to the committee from a range of experts highlighted the important role of standardised testing in schools when data is used appropriately,” Ms Lee said.

“Without NAPLAN and other standardised tests, Canberra parents, teachers and decision makers would not know how our students are progressing and where support is needed.

“The warnings and affirmations by experts on academic performance and standardised testing should be carefully considered by the Education Minister.

“We have the capacity and the ability to have the best performing schools in the country and the evidence provided to the committee in this inquiry is a big part of what will help us to get there.

“I urge the Education Minister and the Government to give careful consideration to the committee’s findings.

“To do otherwise would be a great disservice and injustice to our current and future students who have the right to an excellent education,” Ms Lee said.