Western Australia Minister for Education Elizabeth Constable
WA Ahead Of The Game On Literacy And Numeracy Assessment
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia Minister for Education Liz Constable said today that Western Australia had led the rest of the nation in assessing and publicising numeracy and literacy testing results in early childhood.
“I remain determined to raise the overall literacy and numeracy standards of WA school students across all education sectors.” Dr. Constable said.
“This State has led the rest of the country through the Western Australian Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (WALNA), which was established to address the needs of children and emphasise the importance of establishing sound literacy and numeracy skills in the early years of schooling.”
“This is not a new thing for teachers and students in WA – it has been the practice to make the results of WALNA tests available and these have been published on the Department of Education website since 2006.” Dr. Constable said.
“The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) testing – which replaces WALNA – is a useful tool to help us measure our success in improving the levels of literacy and numeracy among WA school students, but it is not the only measure.”
The Minister said testing was just one of a number of forms of assessment used in WA schools such as checklists, teacher observation, peer evaluation and self assessment.
“Teachers best meet children’s needs by using a variety of assessment methods so that the results from each particular method can be combined to form a wider picture of the effectiveness of our numeracy and literacy programs.” Dr. Constable said.
During the last year in support of NAPLAN, the State Government has developed a number of specific packages to help WA public school teachers and principals better prepare students for the NAPLAN literacy and numeracy tests, allowing students to perform at their optimum level.
“While these tools will help teachers and students prepare for NAPLAN testing, sustainable long-term improvement in the level of literacy and numeracy in WA requires systematic changes to the way this is taught in schools.” the Minister said.
“That is why in my time as Education Minister I have introduced a number of initiatives that provide assistance and resources to schools and educators in the teaching of literacy and numeracy – the building blocks of a good education.”