Assessment of mathematics assessment: Discrepancies between standardised testing and teacher judgements in an Australian primary school context

Colin Carmichael


Withmoves afoot to review Australia's National Curriculum, perhaps it is timely toassess teacher assessment practices. This study compares the judgments thatteachers make on their students' mathematics achievement with results takenfrom Australia's National Assessment Program: Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). Usinga sample of 2144 students, drawn from the Longitudinal Study of AustralianChildren (LSAC), the study develops two regression models: one with teacherratings of achievement as the outcome variable, and the other with NAPLANnumeracy results as the outcome. A number of individual and environmentalfactors are then regressed onto these outcome variables, and the magnitudes oftheir effects are compared. The results indicate a consistency between the twoassessment approaches, except for the assessment of students with specialneeds, where teachers significantly under-estimate the mathematical abilitiesof these students. Implications of these results are discussed.

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