An article published this morning on the ABC News website, describes a Government proposal for a new national literacy and numeracy one-on-one interview for year 1 children.
The Government-appointed panel, chaired by Dr Jennifer Buckingham from the Centre for Independent Studies, has recommended the adaption of a UK phonics test.
Dr Buckingham said current literacy testing in Australian schools did not drill into the detail of phonics to establish what children know.
“There is abundant research in the last several decades that has shown phonics is an essential prerequisite to learning to read, and it’s a really strong predictor of how well children will go on to read and how quickly they’ll become proficient readers,” she said.
She said a more detailed assessment would give schools a much better idea of students’ strengths and weaknesses.
The panel also recommended an electronic scoring method be developed so the results were available immediately for teachers and schools.
“One of the criticisms or the difficulties with NAPLAN-style testing is that it takes a while for the results to get back, and this is the key difference with this assessment,” Dr Buckingham said.
Dr Buckingham’s panel recommended extra support for teachers to give them time to conduct the checks and training to help them interpret the results.
She has also cautioned against using the test results to compare different schools.