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Critics warn parents that NAPLAN is not the whole story

The My School website has been updated with NAPLAN results from 2016, as well as information about all of Australia’s schools.

The website allows for the sharing of information about school achievements, with the aim of supporting and driving improvement across the nation's schools.

“My School is a very popular website, with 1.4 million user sessions last year,” said ACARA’s CEO, Robert Randall.

“It continues to be a valuable resource because it provides a reliable source of information about Australian schools over a period of time – from literacy and numeracy achievement through to student attendance data and a school’s finances.”

“The ‘gain’ pages on My School help identify where significant improvement has been achieved and enable the reasons for such improvement to be shared with others. We all need to do more to celebrate and promote where schools have made a significant improvement to student learning, and then work to expect and support improvement across more schools,” said Randall.

“The focus of My School is on enabling fair comparisons between schools – to drive improvement. ACARA does not support simplistic league tables or ranking of schools.”

Not without it's critics, University of Sydney education expert, Prof Michael Anderson has called for schools to adopt a new model to prepare students for a future where almost half of all jobs may be displaced by technology.

“The onward march of NAPLAN, testing a limited set of 'basics' with its teach-to-the-test oppressions, and league tables, have transformed education into a much-reduced experience for teachers and students alike. This is professionally disappointing for teachers and it is a profound threat to the students in schools.”

The National Chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia, Karen Spiller, urged parents to look beyond NAPLAN averages when evaluating and choosing schools for their children.

"My School numbers do not add up to create the whole story of a school community," said Spiller.

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