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Teaching conference focuses on equity and accountability

Teaching conference focuses on equity and accountability

Equity, genuine accountability in education and the disconnection between educational research and government policy will be key themes at a major primary teaching conference in Wellington this week.

The conference, Taking Stock: Moving Forward, is being organised by NZEI Te Riu Roa and brings together about 300 New Zealand education professionals.

NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Judith Nowotarski says education experts from the US, UK and Australia will talk about the effects of high stakes testing and educational reforms overseas that this government is starting to emulate.

She says there is a growing body of academic research showing that governments around the world are blatantly ignoring best-practice evidence in developing education policy.

“As a result, teachers and other education professionals have serious concerns about the long-term consequences for education.”

Another major focus of the conference will be the recent release of a three-year research project headed by Professor Martin Thrupp of Waikato University, which provided qualitative independent research on the impact of National Standards on the culture and focus in primary schools.

“Teachers welcome genuine accountability but National Standards fail to provide that.

“Accountability is so much broader and deeper than National Standards’ attempt to measure narrow and arbitrary outcomes on a playing field that is about as even as the Southern Alps,” she said.

The three-day conference begins in Wellington tomorrow (Wednesday 22 January).

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