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Seven years of National Standards and nothing to show

Seven years of National Standards and nothing to show

18 August 2017
National Standards should be scrapped because results released today show that they make no difference to student achievement, NZEI Te Riu Roa says.

Education Minister Nikki Kaye today revealed the latest data on National Standards, and announced a plan to raise achievement in reading, maths and writing, which have barely changed since the standards were introduced.

The so-called plan follows a study from the NZCER* that found National Standards were having a negative impact on children’s learning including causing them unnecessary stress.

“If National Standards are not working to raise achievement, and are creating anxiety in children, then the experiment has failed and there is absolutely no point in continuing,” NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart said.

“The risk is too high for our young learners, some of whom have spent the whole primary schooling under a National Standards regime.

“After seven years of experimenting on these children, it’s time to take politics out of education and put the needs of kids first.”

The 2016 National Standards data shows no improvement in Years 1-8 in reading, maths and writing in the years 2014-2017.

One of the solutions suggested by the Minister is increased use of the PACT tool which has been roundly rejected by the sector as inadequate and flawed.

“The Minister needs to listen to the sector and those who know how children learn best to create a system that is fair, equitable, and one in which each child can succeed as an individual.”

* Earlier this week the NZ Council of Educational Research released a report showing that 63 per cent of teachers agreed, or strongly agreed, that anxiety about National Standards performance had negatively affected some students' learning. That was up from 41 per cent on the 2013 survey. (See the report)

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