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Principals and Teachers slam National Standards

29 November 2013

Immediate Release

Principals and Teachers slam National Standards

To cap off a dire week for National Standards, new research has shown that three years on, teachers and principals have a very negative view of the controversial system.

The New Zealand Council of Educational Research study was presented at the NZ Association for Research in Education conference in Dunedin yesterday.

The study of 180 principals and 713 teachers across 351 primary and intermediate schools found that less than 40 per cent supported National Standards in principle.

Amongst principals, 53 per cent strongly disagreed that current National Standards data provided a reliable picture of student performance and 34 per cent disagreed. Teachers felt almost as strongly.

Eighty-six per cent of principals and 74 per cent of teachers felt that National Standards did not help with the inclusion of students with special education needs.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski said the evidence contradicted Hekia Parata’s frequent claims that educators are becoming supportive of National Standards.

In a speech to the Iwi Chairs Forum yesterday, Hekia Parata said, “Parents have almost universally welcomed this level of exposure – they have embraced achievement data and many teachers have as well, despite what you may hear in very selective reporting.”

Mrs Nowotarski said actual academic research had found the opposite and she called on the Minister to back up her assertions with solid research, “not just asking for opinions at her staff meetings”.

“Despite the Education Minister’s best efforts, teachers and principals are far from convinced that National Standards is a good thing. After three years of working under this system, surely they should be trusted to make an informed assessment by now.”

Mrs Nowotarski said the NZCER study confirmed the findings of a three-year research project released yesterday by Waikato University into the effect of National Standards on schools and student learning.

It found primary education in New Zealand has already been damaged by National Standards and inequality is set to grow, but Hekia Parata rubbished the findings because the research had been commissioned by NZEI.


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