ANA as part of a comprehensive reading literacy school assessment system
Making decisions about teaching and learning is as core a component to teaching as providing the teaching itself. Effective use of assessment data to plan, judge, and modify teaching is a fundamental competency for good teaching. According to the Department of Basic Education (2013b), the purpose of the ANA is to determine learner performance with regard to the skills and knowledge that they have acquired as a result of teaching and learning experiences in school. In addition, it provides important evidence to inform planning and development at national, provincial, district and school level. The purpose of this article is to report on the results of an exploratory action research study that indicate that the Annual National Assessment is overstepping its boundaries in terms of supporting the development of a systematic, dynamic and effective reading literacy assessment system to address the early literacy skills of foundation phase learners. ANA was not designed or standardised to be a screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring assessment.
Keywords: Annual National Assessments, data-based decision making, progress monitoring assessment, basic early literacy skills