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Focus should be learning and teaching not testing and typing

Chris  Hipkins

Education Spokesperson


Focus should be learning and teaching not testing and typing

Spending $5.2 million on a compulsory national test for primary school students will do nothing to improve student achievement and will only further undermine the quality of our school system, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Our schools and teachers should be focused on bringing out the best in every child.

“Assessment shouldn’t be about getting kids over arbitrary hurdles, it should be about identifying their strengths and weaknesses and the next steps in their learning.

“During the Education and Science Select Committee meeting this morning, the Ministry of Education confirmed that the so-called Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) is basically going to become a de-facto national test. It will collect and collate data on every individual student in the country.

“Individual teachers will no longer be making the overall judgements about each student’s progress. A government computer programme will do it for them.

“Introducing a de-facto compulsory test, particularly one that records results for every individual student, significantly raises the stakes. It sends a clear message to schools and teachers that they should focus only on what is going to be tested, rather than ensuring every child gets a broad and varied education.

“National testing has proven a failure everywhere else around the world. This is yet another example of the National party importing failed ideological experiments, rather than focusing on what works here in New Zealand,” Chris Hipkins says.


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