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Read NAPLAN 'holistically': Qld govt

AAP logoAAP 2/08/2016 By Jamie McKinnell

Queensland's education minister says state school students have the "building blocks" for better writing skills in the future as she urges a holistic reading of mixed NAPLAN results.

Some of the state's year seven and nine students, in particular, have poor writing skills, which correlates with disappointing numbers nationally in the preliminary results.

Only the Northern Territory ranked below Queensland in that test area.

But Education Minister Kate Jones says the 2016 results are some of the best the state has seen overall.

For the first time, Queensland ranked first in a NAPLAN test area - year three grammar and punctuation.

"We are the only state that continues to see, each and every year, improvement across the board," Ms Jones said.

The sunshine state was "on a journey" when it came to writing, the minister claimed, but said parents would remember when NAPLAN started in 2008, Queensland was ranked seventh in every test area.

"You've got to look at it holistically," Ms Jones said.

"We have been, in the last 10 years, playing catch-up in education."

Reforms such as the introduction of prep and universal access to kindergarten were paying off, Ms Jones added.

She pointed to a link between key test areas where Queensland improved - reading, grammar and punctuation.

"These are the skills you need to be able to do good writing," Ms Jones said.

The government has called for a national discussion about the nature of the writing test.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland improved in 15 of the 20 test areas in terms of meeting the national minimum standard.

Queensland Teachers Union President Kevin Bates was keen to point out in many areas, the difference between states' rankings were mere tenths of a single percentage point.

"When you look at where our position was in terms of overall scores, we've been making more improvement than most other states," he said.

Mr Bates said a proposal to mark the tests using a computer program was "completely unacceptable".

"It is of concern to us as educators that our students would be writing something knowing that no other human being was ever going to read their work," he said.

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