The impact of high stakes testing: the Australian story

Klenowski, Valentina & Wyatt-Smith, Claire (2011) The impact of high stakes testing: the Australian story. Assessment in Education : Principles, Policy and Practice.

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High stakes testing in Australia was introduced in 2008 by way of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). Currently, every year all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are assessed on the same days using national tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Numeracy. In 2010 the NAPLAN results were published on the Federal Government MySchool website. The impact of these high stakes tests on jurisdictions, school principals, parents and students is considered in this article. We draw on reported observations from the Australian Primary Principals Association during 2009–10 testing periods across the country and published Australian research on the impact of high stakes literacy and numeracy testing. We also examine alternative approaches that include the use of assessment evidence for learning improvement purposes and for accountability purposes. In considering alternatives to the current large-scale testing approach we draw on key insights from research on teacher judgement, achievement standards and social moderation in the context of national curriculum and assessment reform in support of the suggested directions forward.

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ID Code: 47882
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: high stakes testing, accountability, summative assessment
DOI: 10.1080/0969594X.2011.592972
ISSN: 0969-594X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Education Assessment and Evaluation (130303)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in the [Assessment in Education : Principles, Policy and Practice] © [2011] [copyright Taylor & Francis]; [Assessment in Education : Principles, Policy and Practice] is available online at:
Deposited On: 21 Dec 2011 22:11
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 23:57

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