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NAPLAN results show room for improvement

By Charlotte Harper - 3 August 2016 15

SchoolTestingNAPLANiStock

ACT Education Minister Shane Rattenbury says the Government will examine areas in which Territory students’ latest NAPLAN results are weaker than expected to help it direct efforts in schools towards helpings students reach their full potential.

The just-released NAPLAN 2016 summary information report provides preliminary data across five areas (reading, numeracy, spelling, grammar and punctuation and writing) for the nearly 19,000 students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 who participated in NAPLAN testing in May 2016.

The more detailed National Report, which will include results broken down by categories, is scheduled for release in December 2016.

The NAPLAN summary information ranked Canberra’s Year 9 students highest or equal highest in the country in all areas.

Students in Year 3 were ranked third behind Victoria and NSW in spelling and second behind Victoria for writing.

Year 5 students were ranked equal second behind Victoria on numeracy and writing, and third behind NSW and Victoria for spelling.

Year 7 writing ranked equal second behind Victoria.

Mr Rattenbury said that Canberra school students had maintained their overall strong performance.

“Canberra school students again performed well, and remain at the top or equal top for 14 out of the 20 domains,” he said.

“92% of all Canberra school students performed at or above the national minimum standard across all year groups and assessment domains with the exception of year 9 writing where 86% of students were at or above the national minimum standard.

“The data does show a few areas where we have not performed as strongly as we could have and this data will be useful to inform further work that can be done in schools to ensure the Canberra students continue to achieve their full potential.”

Shane Rattenbury

The Education Minister said NAPLAN was about driving improvement in schools.

“The data enables us to celebrate the success but to also identify areas for improvement,” he said.

“We will take this data and analyse it to identify areas that require further follow-up.”

He commended students on their efforts and thanked teachers for their dedication.

“I also acknowledge that NAPLAN is only one measure of performance and that ACT schools have many other indictors of student development and success,” he said.

Mr Rattenbury said the ACT was well advanced in preparations for the August 2016 NAPLAN online trial which would pave the way for implementation of NAPLAN online from 2017.

“Undertaking the NAPLAN test online is designed to provide better assessment, with more precise results and faster turnaround of information, and better meet the needs of all students, including those with a disability,” he said.

Schools will begin distributing student reports to families from Wednesday 17 August as well as providing access to their student results online.

File photo of Shane Rattenbury by Charlotte Harper, file photo of students taking a test from iStock

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15 Responses to
NAPLAN results show room for improvement
wildturkeycanoe 6:50 am 18 Aug 16

As I mentioned before, our youngest child was graded “C”s for their report card, even though we know he is at least a year ahead of his class mates. Naplan results are in and they speak for themselves, above band 6 [pretty much as good as you can get on the scale] for all English and mathematics testing. Writing was only in band 5 but still above both the school and national average. Now the dilemma is how to get them transferred to a school that will nourish this talent instead of letting it stagnate, while the teachers spend 99% of their time on the attention seeking dropouts in the bottom 10% of the class.
Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how good a school’s Naplan rating is because if you aren’t living in the catchment area, you cannot get your child into the overcrowded classrooms and for private schools, you have to have enrolled before you had even conceived the child.
If we had the ability to renew our mortgage, we’d even consider moving suburb to get a decent outcome for our son, but we are stuck in this lower class pool and have to wait three more years before the opportunity arises for him to get in to a place that encourages brilliant minds.

bj_ACT 5:34 pm 04 Aug 16

Dear I am Rabbit, I hope you are pleased with yourself making these claims and generalisations about Tuggeranong students.

As for your funding claims to schools, you are misrepresenting the government funding to an area by linking it to individual school/student level dollars. Considering the government closed 3 primary and 3 pre-schools in Kambah alone to save money and also make a profit be selling off the land, I don’t know how you can simply apply the per student funding ratio. Your methodology doesn’t take into account a whole lot of other Government funding, programs and administrative factors that make up school costs and funding.

I am a Rabbit™ 3:11 pm 04 Aug 16

Blen_Carmichael said :

The data at bottom of this shows how poorly Tuggeranong Schools are doing in comparison to the rest of Canberra. They basically fill the bottom places except for two Belco exceptions. The Primary Schools unfortunately follow the same pattern. Time for Shane Rattenbury and Andrew Barr to focus school funding, programs, effort & resourcing into the areas where education is going backwards not into the schools in their own electorates.

What are you on about? Schools in Tuggeranong get some of the highest amount of state & federal funding per student in the ACT. The issues with the poor education standard in Tuggeranong is self-inflicted because of the culture that has been entrenched there. The primary influence of academic performance is the home environment, and not that of the school. It’s true that there’s a brain drain in Tuggeranong (this isn’t just limited to schooling though), but it shouldn’t be surprising that people would rather send their children to north-side schools. The behavior of students in north suburbs is MUCH better.

I’ll use that list that you provided and display what the state & federal funding of schools in the ACT is like. I’m not going to get into expenditure, as that’s much more tricky to explain without a hundred-page report because so many factors influence that.

TUGGERANONG
Melba Copland Secondary School – 20,898
Lanyon High School – 16,126
Wanniassa School – 19,878
Caroline Chisholm School – 17,135
Namadgi School – 16,574
Calwell – 15,852

NON-TUGGERANONG
Telopea Park School – 12,074
Lyneham High School – 13,429
Alfred Deakin High School – 13,799
Canberra High School – 14,850
Campbell High School – 16,114
Amaroo School – 11,794
Harrison School – 13,000

The problem with Tuggeranong schools is cultural in nature. Throwing more money at them isn’t going to fix anything.

bj_ACT 12:46 pm 04 Aug 16

Based on last years NAPLAN results the table from the Your School ranking site. The data at bottom of this shows how poorly Tuggeranong Schools are doing in comparison to the rest of Canberra. They basically fill the bottom places except for two Belco exceptions. The Primary Schools unfortunately follow the same pattern. Time for Shane Rattenbury and Andrew Barr to focus school funding, programs, effort & resourcing into the areas where education is going backwards not into the schools in their own electorates. Greens fought the ACT Labor school closures in the Electorates they lived in but let the schools in the areas of Belco and Tuggers die. Now they are reaping the results of their funding closures. We are now seeing the flow on effects that experts warned of where richer families move to better resourced public schools and the cycle gets worse and worse. Canberra used to be a place without the high location based social and educational issues of many other cities. ACT Labor has created problems for Tuggeranong education in particular by targeting re-election not improving education.

data from Your Schools linked to via http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/schools/interactive#browse

Rank NAPLAN Avg Public High School Name
1st of 20 598 Telopea Park School Barton ACT
2nd of 20 588.8 Lyneham High School Lyneham ACT
3rd of 20 580.2 Alfred Deakin High School Deakin ACT
4th of 20 569.5 Canberra High School Macquarie ACT
5th of 20 568.2 Campbell High School Campbell ACT
6th of 20 565.2 Amaroo School Amaroo ACT
7th of 20 553.4 Harrison School Harrison ACT
8th of 20 551.7 Mount Stromlo High School Waramanga ACT
9th of 20 548.3 Melrose High School Pearce ACT
10th of 20 548.2 Gold Creek School Nicholls ACT
11th of 20 542.3 University of Canberra High School Kaleen Kaleen ACT
12th of 20 538 Belconnen High School Hawker ACT
13th of 20 528 Namadgi School Kambah ACT
14th of 20 525.9 Kingsford Smith School Holt ACT
15th of 20 525.2 Caroline Chisholm School Chisholm ACT
16th of 20 524 Wanniassa School Wanniassa ACT
17th of 20 517.9 Lanyon High School Conder ACT
18th of 20 517.3 Melba Copland Secondary School Melba ACT
19th of 20 504.6 Calwell High School Calwell ACT

pstephenmarshall 9:47 am 04 Aug 16

The ACT results have always been dodgy. Our results are really for a city. A true assessment would be to compare ACT results with metropolitan Sydney or Melbourne. If we cut off all the rural results for NSW or Victoria, they’d be miles ahead of Canberra. Our so-called ‘nation-leading’ education system is actually not.

madelini 9:33 am 04 Aug 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

Safe Schools was nothing to do with “gender bending”; it provided a safe space for kids struggling with their gender or sexual identity..

Really? I think the original idea (anti-bullying) was worth supporting. But it was used as a Trojan horse by an academic with more interest in promoting her own world view than she had in protecting kids.
That’s what happens when you put Socialist Alternatives in charge of anything

But the debate was cleverly framed in an ‘enlightened’ vs ‘the bigots’ paradigm, so most people didn’t look too hard at what was going on.

Given that schools could opt in to the program and then tailor it to what they believed was appropriate, I categorically disagree that it was used by an academic to push their own agenda. What you cannot argue is that the ultra-conservative politicians with no background in education picked at the bits they didn’t like to push their own agenda; the only people who suffered were the kids who need support.

madelini 9:31 am 04 Aug 16

JimCharles said :

JC said :

Maybe more “welcome to country” ceremonies and more gender-bending “Safe Schools” materials will help?

Safe Schools was nothing to do with “gender bending”; it provided a safe space for kids struggling with their gender or sexual identity. It also taught tolerance to the kids who don’t have those struggles.

Clearly, some adults could use some of the material taught to these students.

So the kids not even understanding their own sexuality yet will be further confused with more PC nonsense.
What’s next? Are we going to teach the kindergarteners that Santa doesn’t exist either?

The only reason safe schools exists is to use the children to target their parents.

Most school kids are totally intolerant of the other sex up until a certain age.

Maybe I’m naive, but I think it’s better to have staff in schools trained and provided with information in case their students ask for help, than to have them going to Reddit. The program teaches tolerance; it provides information to those who need or want it.

You cannot teach someone to be queer. You cannot condition someone’s sexual identity. Teenagers are curious, they experiment, but they need to have access to information so that they can stay as safe as possible.

I do not understand your point of teaching kindergarteners about Santa, or how Safe Schools targeted parents. Parents do not always know where to go for the right information to help their kids; there was no parent training, last time I checked. Also, kids only become intolerant of the other gender when they are 4 or 5, before then, they are wonderfully relaxed about gender.

If tolerance and respect of difference is the mantra of the “PC Brigade”, then sign me up.

dungfungus 9:14 am 04 Aug 16

JimCharles said :

JC said :

Maybe more “welcome to country” ceremonies and more gender-bending “Safe Schools” materials will help?

Safe Schools was nothing to do with “gender bending”; it provided a safe space for kids struggling with their gender or sexual identity. It also taught tolerance to the kids who don’t have those struggles.

Clearly, some adults could use some of the material taught to these students.

So the kids not even understanding their own sexuality yet will be further confused with more PC nonsense.
What’s next? Are we going to teach the kindergarteners that Santa doesn’t exist either?

The only reason safe schools exists is to use the children to target their parents.

Most school kids are totally intolerant of the other sex up until a certain age.

“What’s next? Are we going to teach the kindergarteners that Santa doesn’t exist either?”
The Islamic schools are already onto that.

A_Cog 8:27 pm 03 Aug 16

JimCharles said :

… What’s next? Are we going to teach the kindergarteners that Santa doesn’t exist either? …

Santa is a gateway belief to religion, some magical guy giving rewards to people who “behave”.

[and reinforcing a fear and ostracism of non-conformity.]

justin heywood 4:47 pm 03 Aug 16

Safe Schools was nothing to do with “gender bending”; it provided a safe space for kids struggling with their gender or sexual identity..

Really? I think the original idea (anti-bullying) was worth supporting. But it was used as a Trojan horse by an academic with more interest in promoting her own world view than she had in protecting kids.
That’s what happens when you put Socialist Alternatives in charge of anything

But the debate was cleverly framed in an ‘enlightened’ vs ‘the bigots’ paradigm, so most people didn’t look too hard at what was going on.

gooterz 4:18 pm 03 Aug 16

JC said :

Maybe more “welcome to country” ceremonies and more gender-bending “Safe Schools” materials will help?

Safe Schools was nothing to do with “gender bending”; it provided a safe space for kids struggling with their gender or sexual identity. It also taught tolerance to the kids who don’t have those struggles.

Clearly, some adults could use some of the material taught to these students.

So the kids not even understanding their own sexuality yet will be further confused with more PC nonsense.
What’s next? Are we going to teach the kindergarteners that Santa doesn’t exist either?

The only reason safe schools exists is to use the children to target their parents.

Most school kids are totally intolerant of the other sex up until a certain age.

madelini 3:55 pm 03 Aug 16

JC said :

Maybe more “welcome to country” ceremonies and more gender-bending “Safe Schools” materials will help?

Safe Schools was nothing to do with “gender bending”; it provided a safe space for kids struggling with their gender or sexual identity. It also taught tolerance to the kids who don’t have those struggles.

Clearly, some adults could use some of the material taught to these students.

wildturkeycanoe 3:42 pm 03 Aug 16

A big improvement to our schools’ educational standards would be to actually help students to advance in classrooms, instead of holding them back in order to help the slower kids catch up to them.
Our youngest [in year 3] has been a straight “A” student since kindergarten. We’ve spoken this year with their teacher to make sure they weren’t getting bored with the work as they are already at easily year 4 level. We were assured that they were going to give harder tasks to avoid that happening and we were encouraged to see their name on top of the list in classroom tasks. BUT, then we got the half year report card and were absolutely shocked to see most subjects graded with “C”s, where previously they’d never been less than a “B”. Even more shocking was the stats showing that an “A” was given in only one subject [art] for only one student in the entire year 3. WHAT???? Are they all doing that badly? What does one have to do to get an “A” for mathematics or English? How can a student who we are reassured at every teacher interview was doing very well, get graded “C” along with the majority of the kids??
Once the Naplan results come back and we see our child getting well above the national average, we are going to stick it in the nose of the teacher, get them to write an explanation, an apology and move our child to a school that encourages gifted kids instead of rewarding the misbehaving cretins with I-pad time and fun activities.

A_Cog 3:16 pm 03 Aug 16

Rattenbury polishes the poor results.

The ACT has the highest, or the second highest, rate of withdrawal of any jurisdiction. Which students are most likely to be withdrawn? The students who would test poorly.

The ACT is amongst the lowest participation rates also – who would not be participating? Again, the students who would test poorly.

What the preliminary 2016 results show is exclusion of struggling ACT students who would drag the ACT NAPLAN scores down.

What’s worse, attendance and participation in the ACT should be the highest in Australia – we have a very small jurisdiction with school buses and only 86 schools. Compared to huge states with tens of thousands of kids in regional/rural areas, there is no excuse for such high withdrawn/not participating rates in the ACT.

This is a disgrace. From a government overflowing with disgrace.

HenryBG 12:33 pm 03 Aug 16

Maybe more “welcome to country” ceremonies and more gender-bending “Safe Schools” materials will help?

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