NAPLAN: Aussie students’ skills set stalls

Peter Terlato 3 August 2016

school lazy

Kids, especially in higher grades, are dragging their feet.

The literacy and numeracy skills of Aussie schoolkids have tapered since 2015, with modest results across various grades and some significant skills reductions among older students.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) released preliminary findings from its 2016 NAPLAN National Report, revealing the latest academic performance data for Australian schools.

The report analyses educational skills including spelling, reading, numeracy, writing, grammar and punctuation, based on exams that are held nationwide.

Despite increased levels of government funding, school children in years 3 and 5 only saw modest improvements in reading, spelling, grammar and numeracy.

Since the inception of NAPLAN in 2008, year 3 students have posted significant gains in the area of grammar and punctuation.

Writing tests are based on a particular idea or question. Students must provide a response using a particular writing style, which can be narrative, informative or persuasive.

According to the report, writing results for high school students in years 7 and 9 have fallen considerably since 2011.

In fact, year 9 students saw year-on-year decreases across all skill sets in 2016.

In a state-by-state breakdown, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recorded the best overall performance in the areas of reading and grammar. Victoria achieved the highest writing and numeracy results.

As was the case last year, students in Queensland and Western Australia showed the greatest levels of improvement overall.

"We are concerned that, on a national level, the results have shown no significant improvement across the domains and year levels from 2015. Plateauing results are not what we should expect or assume from our education systems," ACARA CEO Robert Randall said.

"Literacy and numeracy are the foundations of learning in and beyond school. Literacy and numeracy achievement needs to improve to ensure the wellbeing of individual students and the country as a whole."

The full report, which includes results from 10,000 Aussie schools, will not be released until next year.

If you're interested in understanding the difference between public and private schooling, we explain how they stack up against each other to help you decide what's best for your kids.

Picture: Shutterstock

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