Were you worried about your child stress or anxiety levels during NAPLAN testing? You’re not alone.
Research by the University of Western Sydney has shown 40% of parents surveyed admitted their children had worrying reactions during testing.
I’m one of them. I watched my nine-year-old son endure the NAPLANs earlier this year and it’s convinced me Year 3 students are way too young for the exams.
I actually refer to them as CRAPLANs in my house.
NAPLAN testing was introduced as a way of developing a rating system for schools so parents can view them on the My Schools website. That way, when they are trying to decide where to enrol their children, they can make the best decision possible. Ideally, schools wouldn’t prepare for them at all and the testing system could just provide a snapshot of how the school performs on a regular basis.
Unfortunately most schools have engaged in competitive behaviour and aggressively do all they can to improve their results. The reason they are doing this is because NAPLAN results affect how much funding schools receive. BIG mistake.
Researchers have now warned against linking NAPLAN results to school funding.
“NAPLAN has become a high-stakes testing regime certainly to the extent that it is bearing a weight much greater than would or should be expected of what is said to be a simple tool for diagnostic purposes,” research director Eric Sidoti told news.com.au.
Our stressful and anxiety-ridden adventure with NAPLAN began at the cross country carnival. I was picking my son up when his teacher said, “I’m going to call you. It’s nothing serious.”
Immediately my mind started racing at a million miles an hour. It’s not serious but she has to call me? Is he in trouble? Has he done something? Oh no, they’ve only just realised he has a learning difficulty. He said something about our family that’s raised a red flag. He picked his nose. He broke something…
I walked away reluctantly and during the drive home tried to casually interrogate my son about how school was going and enquire (repeatedly question him) as to any issues that may have arisen. He shrugged and kept playing games on my iPhone, saying nothing had happened. School was school and he had nothing out of the ordinary to report.
The next day and still no call to put me out of my misery so I cracked and rang the school, asking to speak to his teacher.