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Contract for Development of New Assessment Tools

Thursday 3 August 2000 Media Statement
Minister Announces Contract for Development of New Assessment Tools

Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today that the University of Auckland has been awarded a contract to develop new tools for use in the assessment of literacy and numeracy for pupils in years 5, 6 and 7.

“This product will provide high quality information for schools, teachers, pupils and parents, without running the significant risks of the previous government’s pilot of national testing,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Schools will be supplied with these tools in the form of a bank of test items on a CD ROM, and this will allow them to put together tests to suit their own needs at any time during the year.

“This will make it easy for schools to mark and analyse the information to identify students’ strengths and learning needs, so that they can develop appropriate teaching programmes.

“The Government’s policy for the assessment of students is based the use of information that will improve teaching and learning, and not on ranking schools. These new tools are firmly sited in this policy. The tests will not be compulsory, and information from them will not be held in any way that could create league tables of schools.”

Trevor Mallard said there would be multiple benefits:

 The flexibility of the tools would ensure that pupils did not spend time on tasks that were too easy or too difficult for them.

 Teachers would be able to embed the use of the tools and the information they provided in their teaching programmes.

 Parents and pupils would have the reliable information they wanted on achievements in literacy and numeracy.

 The items will be separately developed in both English and in Maori.

“This process will provide rich professional development for teachers and schools throughout the country, many of whom will next week be invited to participate in writing and trialing them,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Other elements of the assessment policy, including the development of exemplars and diagnostic tools, the continuation of the Assessment Resource Bank and the National Education Monitoring Project as well as a range of professional development projects are also underway," Trevor Mallard said.


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