It has been touted as the solution to NAPLAN's controversy, but the NSW Teachers Federation fears the new diagnostic test for year 10 will just be more of the same.
An independent review into the NAPLAN test recommended the national standardised test be overhauled to better meet the needs of students, teachers and their school communities.
"What students and their teachers need is a diagnostic tool that captures the breadth of a student's ability, measures student growth and provides systemic and individual results back quickly," said Sarah Mitchell, NSW minister for education.
The review, conducted by Emeritus Professor Barry McGaw, Emeritus Professor Bill Louden, and Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith, recommended the test be given to year 10 students, instead of year 9, and be moved earlier in the year.
Currently, the test is being given in May although the 2020 cohort missed out as a result of COVID-19 uncertainties.
Dubbed as the 'Australian National Standardised Assessments' (ANSA), the test will go beyond the NAPLAN's focus on numeracy and literacy, to now including STEM assessments.
The new assessment would replace the tri-annual NAP science literacy exam.
Riverina organiser for the NSW Teachers Federation, John Pratt, told The Daily Advertiser that while the review had been welcomed, the proposed changes would not address the problems of NAPLAN.
"Everything we predicted in 2010 about the NAPLAN has come true," he said.
"We said there were be a narrowing of the curriculum, teaching to the test and inappropriate use of the data.
"ANSA is not going to change that, it's just going to shift the problems from one year group to another."
Rather than introducing the new test, Mr Pratt advocated for greater consultation to take place with teachers to determine the best way to measure student outcomes going forward.
"The best way to assess a student is within the school," he said.
"No-one knows that child's educational growth better than their classroom teacher and their parents. The school community and the teachers need to be given primacy in deciding how to assess students."
Meanwhile this week, the teachers federation has begun an independent inquiry into the teaching profession's value in a changing society.
On the first day of hearings, the NSW Teachers Federation made a case for an increase in salaries and better working conditions. It is the first inquiry into the profession since 2003.
"There's been a lot of changes to the work and the expectations. There's been an increased to workload and red tape and the need for data collection," Mr Pratt said.
"We are teachers, not data collectors, that's not what education is about. It's about getting stuck in, getting your hands dirty and teaching."
Over the coming weeks, the review panel will look at the changing role of technology on the profession, and the expectation that teachers will also be counsellors and support networks for their students.
"If it's warranted, we would quietly welcome a salary increase, but the review is about understanding what's changed and how it's changed," Mr Pratt said.
"It's about acknowledging how hard it is to be a teacher nowadays. For those of us at the end of our careers, we know what's changed. I certainly would not like to be starting out my career as a teacher now."