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National Standards Up For Discussion

18th November 2009
FOR USE 19th November 2009

National Standards Up For Discussion

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is hosting a forum today (Nov 19) to discuss the government’s controversial National Standards.

It will bring together teachers, principals, educationalists, academics and other sector groups for the first time since the government launched its National Standards policy a year ago.

The Standards will measure all primary and intermediate school children against set national targets in reading, writing and mathematics, in a bid to raise achievement levels. They are to be implemented from February next year and from 2012 schools will be required to feed their results to the Ministry of Education.

NZEI represents 35,000 primary and intermediate school principals and teachers. President Frances Nelson says National Standards represent a major change of focus in terms of education policy, and have major implications for student learning. The forum is being held in response to concerns about the Standards, from within the sector and among parents and academics.

“We all want to raise student achievement This forum will give us a chance to come together and take a really hard look at the Standards and weigh them up in terms of what they’re actually going to mean for schools and for the future of teaching and learning.”

“It’s fair to say that there are real fears that the Standards will narrow the curriculum, undermine children’s broader learning and achievement and lead to creation of simplistic school league tables. There are a few bottom line issues for us,” she says.

The Forum is being held at NZEI on Thursday 19 November.
The address is 13th floor Education House, 178-182 Willis Street, Wellington.


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