16 February, 2013
Primary school tests not being used as they should be
Tests to identify children's learning needs are being used for purposes for which they have never been intended.
Commenting on reports of inflated test results in primary school children's Star and AsTTLE results, Principal of Khandallah Primary School, Louise Green, says these tests are a tool for teachers and should not be being used to indicate National Standards.
“These tests are about teaching and learning. They help a teacher to see what a child does well, as well as identify gaps in learning and the next steps to be taken. The results are being used for a purpose that is not appropriate (to inform National Standards.)”
She says the results were an indication of achievement and were only one part of the overall assessment for National Standards.
She says since the marking guide for the AsTTLE tests had been changed, principals and teachers had noticed very different results.
“If you use the new marking guide you get much higher results than on the old marking guide.”
She says that if the Ministry of Education wants to use the Star and AsTTLE tests to determine National Standards then this should have been a transparent process and communicated effectively.
“We should not be distorting the original purpose of these tests which had nothing to do with the high-stakes testing involved in National Standards and the ability to create league tables.”