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Do You Know Year 9 NAPLAN Results No Longer Linked To The HSC

Background:

NSW Government has unveiled a major change to the HSC in 2016, required students in NSW must reach the minimum standards of literacy and numeracy to be eligible for the HSC from 2020. Under these minimum standards, students were required to achieve at least a Band 8 in their Year 9 NAPLAN reading, writing and numeracy tests to receive their HSC. For students who fail to achieve these results in Year 9, they would need to pass an online literacy and numeracy tests in subsequent years to meet the requirements.
Students undertaking Year 9 NAPLAN in 2017 were the very first cohort subject to the change. Unfortunately, the 2017 NAPLAN results revealed that almost 70 percent of Year 9 students in NSW failed to achieve a Band 8 or above in all three areas required, and therefore, they will have to sit and pass the online literacy and numeracy tests to qualify for their HSC.
Only a few weeks ago, on 22 February 2018, NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes has announced a change to simplify the HSC minimum standards of literacy and numeracy. Students are now required to sit and pass the short online reading, writing and numeracy tests to be eligible for their HSC. These tests can be taken by students anytime their teachers think they are ready in Year 10, 11 or 12. That means Year 9 NAPLAN results no longer linked to the minimum standards for the HSC.
On one hand, the purpose of NAPLAN is back to its original idea, served as a simple check-up to assess educational progress on literacy and numeracy. It seems to reduce the unnecessary pressure on Year 9 students caused by the previous policy as they no longer need to work “that” hard for NAPLAN to meet the requirements. However, this change seems to risk NAPLAN results slipping again as we all know that in 2017 NSW had a lift in Year 9 NAPLAN which was one of the best results since 2008 when the tests were introduced. If you were a current Year 9 student, what would you do for the upcoming NAPLAN after having been through all these changes, bearing all the pressure from the policy and the results of the previous Year 9 and knowing the tests are no longer linked to the HSC?
On the other hand, HSC students will still have to meet the minimum standards through other tests, more tests, from Year 10 onwards. In other words, students still need to sit NAPLAN tests in Year 9 as usual while they also have to take the short online tests in reading, writing, and numeracy from Year 10 to meet the HSC minimum standards until they passed all of them. Last year, the NAPLAN Band 8 results have kept nearly 70 percent of students out of the door to the HSC. This year, how many of them could get in again through those online tests?

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