School success is more than a NAPLAN score

The NSW Secondary Principals' Council is calling for a more serious discourse about what and how school performance is measured.

The professional body believes the focus on standardised testing such as NAPLAN and PISA rankings needs to be repositioned to consider broader definitions of school success.

Investigating how other countries measure school success is crucial to this discussion, NSW Secondary Principals' Council President Chris Presland states in a media release, issued on Thursday.

"While politicians suggest that it is evidence based best practice, rather than funding, that will see students achieve the best results, the NSW SPC maintains it is not an 'either or' debate. Both are necessary. Equitable funding is intrinsically linked to international measures of educational success such as access and participation," the media release states.

"The evidence shows that what really makes a difference to the quality of education is the interaction between high quality teachers, engaged students and a flexible curriculum. Therefore we need to move beyond seeing standardised test scores as the only means of quantifying the educational achievement of Australian students," the media release also states.

"The fact is that some of our most challenging school communities achieve extraordinary outcomes with the students, but these outcomes are rarely understood or publicly acknowledged by our politicians and general community.

"Drawing on the experiences and ideas of our international education colleagues provides a potential starting point for beginning to redefine educational success as more than a NAPLAN score."


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