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World-leading development in boosting education

World-leading development in boosting education

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced the national roll-out of a world-leading assessment tool that is aimed at significantly boosting the literacy and numeracy skills of primary school students around the country.

"AsTTle assessment tools are a world-leading resource and an exciting development in what is a top priority for the Government in education - lifting literacy and numeracy achievement. Our government believes it is essential that kids have the right foundations for success later in life, in education and in the workplace.

"By using these ground-breaking tools, teachers can be much better informed about what kids can and cannot do, and they can tailor their lessons accordingly so that the students who need the extra help, can get it.

“Parents and caregivers can also get a much more accurate picture of how their child is doing early on, rather than waiting for gaps in their learning to be picked up well into their secondary school years when it’s too late to put them on the right track.

“Feedback from teachers involved in the trial of the asTTle CD-Rom has been very positive. Use of the tools is voluntary but I'm confident there will be a good take-up of this free resource by teachers around the country." Trevor Mallard said.

The asTTle assessment tools have been developed by the University of Auckland for the Ministry of Education and are creating international interest. They are aimed at nine, ten and eleven year olds, and have been trialled in schools around the country for the past two years. AsTTle is part of a $28.4 million package for assessment initiatives.

The tools include tests that are able to be used any time during the school year and can be designed to suit the whole class, a group of children, or individuals. They show teachers how students are doing in relation to the rest of their class and in relation to students throughout the country.

“The tools are available for teaching in both English and Maori. Teachers in Maori medium have been looking forward to receiving asTTle so that they can better assess their students mathematical understanding and proficiency in Te Reo,” Trevor Mallard said.

Assessment tools for students aged ten to 14 are now being developed to provide continuity with what is available for primary-age children.

Question and Answers are attached.

Regional contacts for schools and providers which have trialled the tools are available by contacting:

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

How do teachers get asTTle? Teachers can attend a seminar where they will receive the CD-Rom and professional development to enable them to use it effectively. A helpdesk has also been set up. Schools may order copies from orders@learningmedia.co.nz

Is asTTle compulsory? While use of the assessment resources is voluntary, it is expected that they will be very widely used because of their quality and value. Feedback from teachers involved in the trials has been overwhelmingly positive.

What are the benefits for teachers Teachers have reported that results from the analysis of a huge amount of information can be obtained very quickly and that this is more time-saving than manual methods of assessment. The tools also allow an immediate link to appropriate online classroom resources. This means teachers have teaching material at their fingertips which they can use to target any gaps in learning that have been found as a result of the assessment.

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