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Min of Education backtracks on Nat Standards for computers

12 July 2013
Immediate Release

Minister of Education backtracks on mandating National Standards computer tool

The Minister of Education Hekia Parata has reversed her decision to make PaCT, a computerised National Standards assessment tool, mandatory for every primary school student in 2015.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski says it is good news that common sense has prevailed and that the Minister has listened to the teaching profession.  However, PaCT would not fix the fundamental problem - the negative impact on children’s learning of National Standards, which have never been tested or trialled.

“NZEI Te Riu Roa continues to have serious concerns about the way the PaCT tool could cement in invalid and unreliable National Standards,” she says.

‘We want our teachers focused on delivering a broad and rich curriculum which keeps Kiwi kids amongst the highest achievers in the world.  Assessment data needs to be used properly – not for labelling children and producing league tables but in the classroom, for identifying where children are at and where they need to progress.

“Parents don’t want teachers distracted by an obsession with statistics that risks reducing children to ‘sets of data’”, she says.

Last month, NZEI Te Riu Roa, the NZ Principals’ Federation, the NZ Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools, and the Catholic Principals Association called on school boards, their colleagues and the organisations developing the ‘Progress and Consistency Tool’ (PaCT) to cease any involvement in the further development of PaCT, including this year’s trials of the tool.

ENDS

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