National assessment programs help improve education outcomes, a leading Australian educator says.

University of Western Australia Dean of Education, Professor Helen Wildy, said that when teachers used comparable information on student achievement they were able to improve teaching, learning and school management.

Prof Wildy praised the federal government's National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and the WA Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (WALNA).

"This powerful overview of school performance allowed school leaders to address weaknesses highlighted by the results and to see their achievements in context," she said on Monday.

Prof Wildy said teachers used NAPLAN and WALNA data to compare the performance of year groups over time, identify the impact of interventions on minorities such as low-performing students and to assess the effects of organisational and cultural changes within schools.

"Schools that have performed relatively well are digging into the results to find areas for further development," she said.

"Schools that are not performing well are less defensive.

"Instead they are using the results to improve."

Labor has asked all states and territories to rank schools' performances using NAPLAN data later this year.