Paper prevails for Naplan testing

More than 30,000 school kids around the country that completed their Naplan tests online will have to redo their exams, as the transition away from paper-based testing comes at a cost.

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (Naplan) is a standardised test taken by year 3,5,7, and 9 students across the country to track their growth. The 2019 edition of the test featured roughly 50 per cent of schools around the country on the online version, up from 15 per cent last year.

The results were disastrous, with 40,000 high school students in Western Australia alone affected, and many schools given permission to switch back to pen and paper after the attempt to connect online.

Over in Victoria, Education Minister James Merlino says all schools participating in the online version of Naplan can now switch back to paper tests, and that “Naplan online has failed again.”

Despite the difficulties seen across the country, and other states’ decision to switch back to paper, the 9700 students in NSW needing to resit their Naplan tests today will again be using the online version of the exam.

In NSW, a confidential briefing paper surfaced last year in which there was a discrepancy between online and pen-and-paper results, with the latter performing better.

An independent review has been launched by the National Education Minister, Dan Tehan, and was first announced on Sunday.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, the body responsible for Naplan, is committed to rolling out online testing despite the systematic issues, but says paper and pen will be allowed as a 'last resort'.

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