Thursday, September 22, 2016

NAPLAN results - declining for years - what would it take to reverse the decline?

I feel utter frustration when I read an article like this. It’s common knowledge that The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results have been declining for years, despite every effort to get them heading in the other direction. Now Reading Recovery, designed to keep poor readers from falling ever-further behind is getting the shove and something else will take it's place (at huge expense of course). All closing the door after the horse has bolted if you ask me.

While I’m not a fan of the national testing of students by methods that increasingly occupy schools and staff preparing for its implementation, it does provide a benchmark which confirms students are doing increasingly poorly in the literacy and numeracy stakes. Of course it’s easy to point the finger of blame at individual schools, at particular teaching methods (or non-methods) but no-one to my knowledge has connected some additional dots. I’d like to suggest that the trans-generational effects of modern diets, lifestyles and environments and the increasing numbers of unhealthy parents having children who fail to reach their full physical and mental potential is where we should look if we want better-performing students. Apart from the undisputed numbers lacking basic numeracy and literacy skills, there are additional markers of where the problem begins in the numbers of metabolic, immune, digestive and neurological disturbances that are affecting the younger generation.

But back to NAPLAN and what it means - the prognoses for the children falling behind - to successfully complete education and career training and then to enjoy gainful employment and relationships, not to mention true health and wellbeing are far from ideal. Reversing this situation will take generations, even if everyone who might ever become a Mum or a Dad were to get with my 5-POINT BETTER BABIES PROGRAM right now. But I firmly believe that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness! You can help by lighting your own candle. Starts here...

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