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The National Assessment Plan – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a crucial national assessment, but is coming under increasing criticism.
There are three major benefits of NAPLAN:
There are four common criticisms of NAPLAN, which are not supported by rigorous evidence:
The suggested alternative to NAPLAN of having a sample test instead would be woefully inadequate. A sample test would not have the same major benefits of NAPLAN, could not be used as a tool to help individual students, and would not promote school transparency and accountability.
NAPLAN should be retained — because it has major benefits, and claims that it harms the school system have not been confirmed by reliable evidence — but it can be improved; and common concerns from teachers and parents should be taken into account and investigated further.