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Linking school funding to NS data horrififies teachers

Talk of linking school funding to National Standards data horrifies teachers

Claims today in the Herald on Sunday that Education Minister Hekia Parata is looking at ways to link school funding to National Standards results have horrified teachers.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski says similar performance based funding systems linking resourcing to student achievement have failed overseas and should not be introduced in New Zealand because they increase inequity and work against all children succeeding at school.

“Research shows that the reasons children achieve educational success are complex, but that the largest factors by far are their home background and socio-economic status. If we want to lift student success, it’s time we tackled the one in four Kiwi kids living in poverty, rather than blaming and shaming schools and teachers. It appears this Government would rather punish schools in poorer communities than address the real issues.”

“Linking funding to ropey National Standards data will effectively suck money out of the schools that need extra funding for high needs children and pump it into high-decile schools. It will also distort teaching and learning by driving a narrow focus on the 3Rs at the expense of many children whose engagement in learning comes from across a broad curriculum.

“The Minister seems to think that waving big sticks and carrots around are going to be wonderful motivators for schools to improve students’ progress, as if teachers aren’t already doing their absolute best for their students.
“National Standards only cover a tiny part of the curriculum and are absolutely no way to measure genuine progress, because you can’t fit every child into a one-size-fits-all box,” she said.

She said the sector’s rejection last year of the compulsory use of the computerised National Standards system, the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) because of concerns it could be used to make decisions on school resourcing or teacher pay, appeared to have been more than justified.

Ends

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