18,700 students will improve literacy skills and 13,500 will boost their numeracy skills across all NSW public schools, according to the new Premier’s Priority.
Through the ‘Bump It Up’ program, the Premier plans to increase the number of public school students in the top two NAPLAN bands for literacy and numeracy by 15 per cent by 2023.
“We successfully achieved the 2015 Premier Priority of increasing the number of students in the top two NAPLAN bands by eight per cent by 2019 and now we have set the bar even higher,” Permier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“We are unashamedly for lifting standards in our schools and unlocking the massive potential of our young people.”
The pervious 2015 Premier Priority helped around 20,000 students achieve results in the top two NAPLAN bands for literacy and numeracy in 2015.
“By 2023, we expect to see significant, tangible improvement in literacy and numeracy, right across the State,” Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said.
However, disagreements on the importance of NAPALN in NSW schools still exist between education experts.
"There's always a challenge in setting a target for a test but NAPLAN is the best measure we have of literacy and numeracy at scale," The Grattan Institute’s school education expert Dr Peter Goss said.
"Doing it over four years gives schools a chance to take the right approaches,” Dr Goss added.
In contrast, some experts have criticised the NAPALN-focused goal as it merely improves student’s preparation for tests, rather than actually improving their literacy and numeracy skills.
"We can expect schools to respond by giving students more NAPLAN-type activities and practice tests, and what will happen is that that will detract from curriculum implementation time," senior lecturer in education at the University of Technology, Sydney Don Carter said.
"It's reasonable to expect a government to be attempting to improve student literacy and numeracy rates but we need to be cautious and have more information on how they feel schools will improve results,” Mr Carter added.
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