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Labour supports schools' stance

Labour
2000 web siteLabour education spokesperson Trevor Mallard said schools are within their right to refuse to deliver National Party political propaganda.

Trevor Mallard was commenting on reports that many schools were refusing to deliver the Minister's pamphlet on school testing.

"Good on them. It is a leading piece of propaganda and the timing of its release so close to an election has to be seriously questioned," Trevor Mallard said.

"If Nick Smith wanted parents to receive this pamphlet he should have stamped a big blue 'N' on it and had it hand delivered by National Party volunteers in the same manner as other electioneering publications.

"In developing our education policy, Labour looked extremely closely at school assessments. We consulted widely with the teaching profession and with academic researchers on the issue and came to the conclusion that national testing was not in the best interests of children's learning.

"Instead we have opted for ensuring that schools have a clear system of reporting to parents on their children's progress measured against nationally moderated assessment banks and using carefully developed exemplars. We also propose developing a method of passing these reports onto other schools by electronic methods because the rapid mobility of many families.

"A wide range of sector groups, including the School Trustees Association - an official representative of parents, have told the Government that their policy won't work.

"To ignore all advice and then try and use schools as free delivery agents just a few weeks before an election, is nothing short of sneaky," Trevor Mallard said.

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