NAPLAN results: Queensland students going backwards

 

QUEENSLAND has gone backwards in more than half of all NAPLAN categories and scored lower than the national average at every year level and in every subject.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) today release the preliminary 2019 NAPLAN results which reveal Queensland remains behind large parts of the country in a number of key areas.

FULL LIST OF QLD NAPLAN RESULTS FROM 8AM

In May more than 240,000 Queensland students sat for this year's NAPLAN tests, with about 70,000 taking them online.

Today's preliminary results reveal the Sunshine State posted lower scores for 2019 in 12 categories out of 20 compared with 2018, while nationally Australia posted lower scores in nine categories.

The number of students in Year 3 and Year 5 reaching the national minimum standards in the key subject areas was also either below, or equal to, the national average.

Year 5 students Zara Menzies Stegbauer, Elliana Gomez and Finn Clancy from Brisbane Christian College primary school, which has been a consistently high NAPLAN performer. Picture: Peter Wallis
Year 5 students Zara Menzies Stegbauer, Elliana Gomez and Finn Clancy from Brisbane Christian College primary school, which has been a consistently high NAPLAN performer. Picture: Peter Wallis

Alarmingly Year 9 students reading and writing scores were close to the worst in the country, with only the Northern Territory recording lower scores.

More than 22 per cent of Queensland Year 9 students did not meet the national minimum standard for writing, and more than nine per cent for reading.

All Queensland year levels recorded lower scores in every subject compared with students in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, with Year 9 students also recording lower scores than Western Australian students.

But there were some bright spots to celebrate, and Queensland's NAPLAN results have been steadily rising since the standardised tests were introduced more than a decade ago.

Across the board scores in writing, which for the past few years had emerged as a trouble spot, improved on 2018's, though in Year 5, 7 and 9 still remain lower than the subject's 2011 base year.

Education Minister Grace Grace said Queensland should be proud of the improvements it has made since NAPLAN tests began. Picture: Annette Dew
Education Minister Grace Grace said Queensland should be proud of the improvements it has made since NAPLAN tests began. Picture: Annette Dew

This year also saw Queensland record higher score results than last year in Year 3 grammar and punctuation, Year 5 numeracy, and Year 7 reading and numeracy.

Since NAPLAN testing began Queensland's scores have increased in 17 out of 20 categories, something Education Minister Grace Grace said was "great to see".

"This year's results continue to confirm Queensland as one of the most improved states since testing began in 2008," Ms Grace said.

ACARA chief executive David de Carvalho said across the country the improved results for writing, in particular, were something to celebrate.

"Schools have been making focused efforts for some time to address concerns about their

students' writing," Mr de Carvalho said.

"Overall, the results for 2019 show that since NAPLAN started in 2008, there have been gains in most test areas, particularly in the primary years."

Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said it was encouraging to see an uplift in the state's writing results, and the percentage of students meeting the national minimum benchmarks

"Gains at any level - whether that be at the national, state, school or student level - deserve to be recognised and celebrated - it's a powerful motivator to continue to strive for improvement," he said.

"As in previous years, schools will examine their results at an individual student, year and school level to use the data to inform their teaching and learning programs and practices."

Mr Roberston also said the community, including parents, should not "jump to any conclusions" about the results.

 

Brisbane Girls Grammar are expected to be one of the state's top performing schools for NAPLAN results this year. L-R: Brisbane Girls Grammar Year 7 girls Elsie Butler, Eva Lusk, Aily Chang and Alyssa Godinho. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Brisbane Girls Grammar are expected to be one of the state's top performing schools for NAPLAN results this year. L-R: Brisbane Girls Grammar Year 7 girls Elsie Butler, Eva Lusk, Aily Chang and Alyssa Godinho. Picture: Nigel Hallett

"Always talk with your school and teachers as they have a much more comprehensive picture of a student's learning and progress," he said.

NAPLAN has come under fire from a number of education stakeholders in recent years from unions, to parents and schools.

A Queensland review into the standardised test released in March this year highlighted a number of key concerns, with Ms Grace announcing in June a tri-state review with New South Wales and Victoria would also be conducted.

With the transition to online testing plagued with technical problems this year, the Australian Education Union took the release of this year's NAPLAN results as an opportunity to slam ACARA and dispute NAPLAN's validity given the combination of online and paper test results.

"Despite whatever story ACARA tries to spin, this data is so seriously compromised it should not be relied upon by education departments, schools, parents, and the broader community,"

AEU acting federal president Meredith Peace said.

"This is evident by the inclusion of the caveat that they 'acknowledge the disruptions and emphasise that, as always, results should be interpreted with care'.

"Teachers and principals cannot trust NAPLAN or the results it has produced."

Meanwhile the Queensland Teachers' Union vice-president Cresta Richardson said the data appeared to indicate a plateau in results, something she said was to be expected after so many years of testing.

"For the resources that go into it, I don't think that it's worthwhile, I think that money could be used in other ways." she said.

Ms Richardson said while Queensland "outperformed other states in some areas and not in others", teachers, schools and students were working hard.