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NAPLAN three horse race

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It isn’t supposed to be a race but if they will release comparison tables the temptation to identify a winner in the NAPLAN results is too great. And it looks like NSW, Victoria and the ACT in a three-horse photo finish with the NT bringing up the rear.

In Year 3 Reading it looks like a tie between Victoria and the ACT with those states achieving statistically better results than most of the others. Victorian Year 3s proved the best at Writing outscoring all of the other states except NSW with whom they were on par. But NSW Year 3s proved the best spellers beating out most of the other states except ACT and Vic. Year 3s in Vic were marginally the best at Grammar and Punctuation while Victoria and ACT topped the results in Numeracy.

Year 5s in the ACT were identified as top in Reading, narrowly beating out Victoria while Victorian year 5s were the best at Writing, beating the ACT by a small margin. NSW’s Year 5s were the winners at Spelling by a short nose while it was a three-way tie between NSW, Vic and the ACT for Grammar and Punctuation. Vic Year 5s were marginally the strongest in Numeracy.

When we get to Year 7 Reading the ACT is a clear winner beating out all states except Victoria with which it is on equal footing. The Vics again proved the best at Writing in Year 7 on par with only the ACT. NSW, Vic and the ACT scored evenly in Year 7 Spelling but the results were pretty even across the board with those states achieving better results than only the NT and Tassie.

The ACT was clearly better in Grammar and Punctuation topping all states except NSW, Vic and SA with which they were even. Year 7 Numeracy was again won by the ACT, NSW and Vic who were pretty much equal.

ACT Year 9s were head and shoulders the winners in Reading, beating every state except NSW, and it was the three favourites NSW, ACT and Vic scoring evenly in Year 9 Writing. NSW Year 9s were the best in Spelling but only slightly and the ACT Year 9s were clearly the highest scorers in Grammar and Punctuation. NSW Year 9s proved the strongest in Numeracy but only narrowly bested Vic, WA and the ACT.

An obvious take away from the results is how marginal the changes have been in the last three NAPLAN cycles, again if a child lives in a major city with tertiary educated parents and comes from an English-speaking background and is not Indigenous they will achieve higher results than those that don’t.

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