Monday, May 19, 2014

Sloppy educational research

If you want to read a piece of really sloppy educational research, have a look at this from the Whitlam Institute.

See ACARA's response below

ACARA rejects conclusions of Whitlam Report

19 May 2014
ACARA disagrees with the conclusions of the Whitlam Institute report (due to be released 20 May). The conclusions do not reflect the discussion in the report and appear to be based on poorly constructed questions and unclear interview protocols.
There is evidence contained in the report that is not reflected in the conclusions, for example:
  • 50 per cent of teachers say that NAPLAN information is useful.
  • There are nine ways in which NAPLAN data have been used to help schools make judgements on curriculum and teaching style.
  • 70 per cent of parents surveyed believed the information provided by NAPLAN to be useful.
  • 50 per cent of parent respondents viewed NAPLAN positively.
  • Principals also provided useful examples where they were using NAPLAN to drive school improvement.
While ACARA welcomes any feedback which is directed at improving NAPLAN, this report is unhelpful as it continues to perpetuate myths and inaccuracies about NAPLAN.
Beyond the headline seeking conclusions in the report, some of the data in the body of the report will be useful and can guide continuous improvement for NAPLAN.
NAPLAN looks at what level students are achieving in literacy and numeracy against the national standard and compared with their peers throughout Australia. Schools and governments can then provide support where it is most needed. NAPLAN is not high-stakes for students. NAPLAN is not pass or fail. It has no immediate consequences for children. It benefits students by identifying areas for development.