The latest NAPLAN test results have been released and the findings show that Aussie school kids are struggling more than ever with writing, receiving the lowest ever results in that area of testing.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, more than one fifth of year 9 students slipped below the national minimum standard, with just 79.5 per cent reaching the band 6 minimum, down from 84.8 per cent in 2011.
The figures also show that just 88 per cent of year 7 and 91.4 per cent of year 5 students hit the writing benchmark in New South Wales, with both year groups declining since last year.
“National benchmarks are not set very high and that’s just not good enough,” Grattan Institute’s schools expert Pete Goss told the newspaper.
“In a typical to slightly disadvantaged secondary school, one-third of year 7 students are still learning to read, they’re reading at a year 3 or 4 level, one-third of kids are at a year 5 or 6 level and a third are at a year 7 level or above.
“That degree of spread in curriculum capability is incredibly tough for a high school teacher to deal with, they’re not trained to teach basic reading and writing.”
The 2018 results also revealed that fewer year 7 students in NSW reached, or exceeded, the national minimum standard for reading and spelling, and there was also a drop in spelling and numeracy results for year 9 students.
“I think people are writing in different mediums and we need to go back to the basics,” Robert Randall, from the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority told Nine News.
However, while there has been a slump in writing standards, it has also been reported that results in numeracy, spelling, reading and grammar and punctuation actually improved across all age categories.
Randall defended the nationwide test, which has come under fire in recent weeks, telling Nine News: “It supplements what (parents) get from their school teacher which is really important. If we didn’t have NAPLAN we wouldn’t have the data to know how we are going and where to improve.”