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Nothing new in National’s education policy

Hon Chris Carter
Education Spokesperson

13 October 2008 Media Statement

Nothing new in National’s education policy

National’s so called ‘crusade’ for literacy and numeracy contains nothing more than empty slogans which focus on programmes and policies already in place, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Carter.

New Zealand schools are world leaders in literacy and numeracy assessment.

“The literacy and numeracy progressions that many New Zealand primary and intermediate schools currently use are well researched and are widely considered by international education experts as among the best assessment resources developed anywhere in the world,” said Chris Carter.

“National’s much publicised boast of introducing a standardised national testing regime has now merely become ‘comparative assessment’ and not national exams. This is a process already in place in our education system.

“Clearly another flip-flop in the face of almost universal condemnation by schools and education specialists about National’s initial plan to introduce discredited standardised national testing.”

Schools are already required to report to parents on their children’s progress and effective systems have been developed in most schools.

“Apparently, National wants to introduce yet another layer of compliance for schools with a standardised reporting format. A curious move when National has repeatedly claimed schools are already overburdened with compliance costs.

“If you include National’s promise of double funding for private schools, the real agenda is increasingly clear. No new resources for the bulk of state schools and no commitment to fair pay for school staff - but a clear move to bolster highly successful, mostly high decile schools, at the expense of poorer communities.

“After all the fuss Anne Tolley has been making about her plans for education, today’s so called ‘crusade’ will be proof to parents and teachers that National has nothing new to offer,” said Chris Carter.


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