Testing time for Queensland students
Testing time for Queensland students

NAPLAN results 'ring alarm bells'

THE 2011 NAPLAN  should be ringing alarm bells for all Queensland students and their parents, the State Opposition said today.

Shadow Education Minister Dr Bruce Flegg said today's results were a clear wake-up call and much more needed to be done to lift the standard of education for Queensland students, particularly in the basics of literacy and numeracy.

"Improvement in Queensland childrens' education is very difficult to find within the report, placing Queensland last of all the states across all year levels in the area of reading," said Dr Flegg.

"On all five measures, the results of Queensland's year three students were below the Australian average.

"Of particular concern also were our year five students who have not shown minimal improvements.'' 

But the government said Year 3 students had led the way for Queensland in this year's NAPLAN test results, posting the state's strongest results for this year level since testing began in 2008.

Education Minister Cameron Dick said the 2011 NAPLAN test results showed Queensland overall was continuing its improvement and narrowing the gap with other states.

He said Year 3 students were the standout performers in 2011, improving in all five test areas and posting the state's best result for any year level with 95.2 per cent of students achieving the national standard for numeracy.

"The Year 3 students of 2011 represent the first full intake of Prep students and their results highlight the benefit of the Bligh Government's significant investment in this extra year of schooling," Mr Dick said.

"These results show that our move to introduce this extra year of school is starting to pay dividends when it comes to student performance.

"We hope that this strong foundation will continue to yield better literacy and numeracy outcomes for these students as they progress through their education.

"The broader results for all year levels show that our consistent improvement continues. Overall since 2008, Queensland has shown improvement in 19 of the 20 test areas as assessed against national standards.

"Numeracy continues to be Queensland's strongest performance area with more than 92 per cent of students achieving the national standard in this area at every year level tested.

"We must remember that the leading states have had a head start but we are continuing to catch up and the gap is narrowing.

"If this was a 100-metre race, the results this year show that we have hit the line in a photo finish with the other leading states. But we are determined to continue our progress and move through the field - we will not rest because there is still more to do.

Independent Schools Queensland has congratulated schools which continue to improve in the national literacy and numeracy tests but has reminded parents not to use the results to judge performance of schools.

The statewide results of the 2011 National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test given to Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students across Australia were released today.

Independent Schools Queensland Executive Director David Robertson said parents and schools should be proud that Queensland schools have once again improved their overall outcomes.

Mr Robertson said that the significant improvement in the Queensland Year 3 results was particularly notable and reflected the successful implementation of the Prep Year of schooling in Queensland from 2007.

"However, we stand by the belief that less attention needs to be given to comparisons between states and more to the individual needs of the child," Mr Robertson said.

"NAPLAN was always designed to be a diagnostic tool for teachers to assist with individual student achievement."
 

Mr Robertson said the public reporting of NAPLAN results has inappropriately equated school performance with student achievement at a point in time.

"Test results will never paint a complete picture of the standard of education and the quality of outcomes being achieved by children in independent schools across the entire state," he said.

"Simplistic reporting of NAPLAN results does not take into account the many variables that exist between states and as such it does not provide a truly accurate reflection of education standards in Queensland.

"It doesn't tell parents which schools may have made great strides in lifting their students' results. It also provides little insight into the makeup of the school, its students and location - factors which can have a significant influence on how schools fare in exams.

"Test scores are just one piece of the puzzle."

Mr Robertson said for a more complete picture of a school, parents needed to take account of other important factors such as a school's curriculum, its discipline policies, facilities, extra-curricular offerings, class sizes and pastoral care support."

Schools will be given individual student reports to distribute to parents and students next week.

Students at or below the bare minimum standard:  Qld v Australian average.

Year 3 students

 

State/Territory

Reading

2011

Writing

2011

Spelling

2011

Grammar/ Punctuation

2011

Numeracy 2011

QLD

19.3

12.0

19.6

18.4

18.2

Aus wide

14.5

8.3

14.9

13.8

13.8

Difference

4.8

3.7

4.7

4.6

4.4

 

Year 5

 

State/Territory

Reading

2011

Writing

2011

Spelling

2011

Grammar/ Punctuation

2011

Numeracy 2011

QLD

27.5

23.6

26.4

21.9

22.5

Aus wide

20.5

17.9

19.5

17.3

17.3

Difference

7.0

5.7

6.9

4.6

5.2

 

Year 7

 

State/Territory

Reading

2011

Writing

2011

Spelling

2011

Grammar/ Punctuation

2011

Numeracy 2011

QLD

20.8

21.2

22.3

23.6

19.0

Aus wide

18.5

22.6

18.9

20.8

18.1

Difference

2.3

-0.4

3.4

2.8

0.9

 

Year 9

 

State/Territory

Reading

2011

Writing

2011

Spelling

2011

Grammar/ Punctuation

2011

Numeracy 2011

QLD

26.2

32.8

24.5

28.5

26

Aus wide

23.3

32.4

22.9

26.2

23.8

Difference

2.9

0.4

1.6

2.3

2.2

 

* 2011 NAPLAN Summary Report (issued Friday, 9 September 2011).


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