Technical problems in the national literacy and numeracy tests have raised a cloud of distrust above the original results.
Preliminary results from this year's NAPLAN tests were released Wednesday by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.
ACARA CEO David de Carvalho says schools focused on improving student writing skills after last year's results had fallen to the lowest level since the tests began.
"Students should be congratulated on improving this year, especially third-year students, where the results are particularly encouraging," he said.
However, students in the years 7 and 9 performed below the baseline of 2011 for writing.
Compared to the average of 2008, students performed better for maths year 5, reading years 3 and 5, spelling year 3 and 5 and grammar year 3.
This year was the second time some tests were taken online, with about half of the schools in the country.
The tests were plagued by technical problems when students were ready to start in mid-May, with some students losing their connectivity and others unable to log in at all.
Affected students were able to take the tests again, but the problem led to a disclaimer on the preliminary results that they "should be interpreted with care".
ACARA insists that pen and paper tests are comparable to the computer version.
Meredith Peace, acting president of the Australian Education Union, said teachers and school leaders should not trust the results because they are "so seriously compromised."
"ACARA is more concerned with saving its own skin and maintaining a harmful test regime than ensuring the valid, consistent and reliable assessment of student performance," she said.
"There is no transparency about how ACARA arrived at the results data published today and the community must seriously wonder how strict the independent assessment of the NAPLAN results was."
The education experts at Deakin University also warn that test results cannot be fully relied upon, arguing that technical problems have weakened NAPLAN & # 39; s goal of delivering comparable results.
Spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek, education of the federal government, said the Morrison government has failed to reverse the decline in reading, writing and arithmetic.
"Children need to get to know the basics. It's the basics of the rest of their education. We can't afford to hold back the next generation," she told AAP.
All Australian students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in the annual tests, which relate to reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, as well as math skills.
Due to this year's problems, a complete transition to online testing has been reduced to 2021.
A report on the underlying causes of the technical failures will soon be handed over to the country's education ministers.
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