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Resource to lift literacy and numeracy standards

5 December 2006

New resource to lift literacy and numeracy standards

A new resource for teachers will provide a benchmark to assist schools in lifting literacy and numeracy standards for all students, says Education Minister Steve Maharey.

The Student Achievement in New Zealand kit provides comprehensive data on student achievement gathered between 2001 and 2004, through use of Asttle, an assessment tool designed to measure the achievement and progress of year 4-12 students.

"Asttle is a world-leading assessment tool used in more than 90 percent of schools. It gives parents and teachers 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 years," Steve Maharey said.

"This kit draws on the data gathered from Asttle and will be used to enable teachers to see how their students measure up against benchmarks, and signal areas they need to improve.

"While the data shows most New Zealand students are doing extremely well, these are the tools that will identify and assist the students that are not doing so well.

"This could not be achieved by the kind of national testing or national standards advocated by the National party.

"Unlike Asttle, national testing doesn't show teachers or students how to close the gap in their learning, because it provides no explanation for where they went wrong or how to improve."

Steve Maharey said the Asttle tool, developed by Auckland University was attracting considerable international interest, including recent visits from education professionals from Sweden, Finland, Malaysia and the United States.

"The international interest comes from the way that Asttle is being used to personalise learning, by providing an in-depth assessment of each student's progress. This data, and it's use with Asttle, gives us the foundation to lift achievement for every student."

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