As more than a million year 3 and 5 students around the country get set to sit for NAPLAN tests from tomorrow, debate still rages about the importance of the controversial assessment.
Award-winning Fairy Meadow Demonstration School principal Alison Rourke for one is adamant NAPLAN is "definitely just a snapshot".
"It is a very quick snapshot of children's learning around literacy and numeracy. It certainly doesn't measure who they are as a child and it certainly doesn't measure the impact they have in a school," Mrs Rourke said.
This view was shared by NSW Department of Education secretary Mark Scott, who told the Mercury NAPLAN was a tool school leaders could use but it was not the "be all and end all".
"Most principals I speak to feel NAPLAN can give them some interesting information, but there is more to teaching and learning than NAPLAN," he said.
"Teachers I think find NAPLAN confirms insights they have but if you look at the performance of a school overall there is valuable information that can come from it."
Mrs Rourke agreed, adding schools were particularly interested in their test result trends.
"So whether or not we are trending up or down in those spaces, and the value-add we've done between years three and year 5. This is what schools are most interested in," she said.
Parents recently learned that NAPLAN results are being used to assess students for entry into selective streams at public high schools in Wollongong.
Dr Rachel Wilson from the University of Sydney believes NAPLAN over time has produced more and more unintended negative outcomes.
"We need to reform our assessment system so that it empowers teachers and learners," she said.
"We should remediate the culture in schools that sends the wrong messages to students - that it's all about performance and competition - and frustrates our teachers."
NAPLAN tests will run on paper from May 14 to 16 and online from May 14 to 24.