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Untested Standards Will Force Tough Decisions

Media Release
December 11th, 2009
From NZEI Te Riu Roa
For Immediate Use

Untested Standards Will Force Tough Decisions

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says the Education Minister’s refusal to trial National Standards will force schools into a difficult position over their implementation next year.

Calls have been mounting from teachers, principals, academics and parents for the Standards to be trialed but Anne Tolley has now firmly said there will be no trial or delay.

NZEI President Frances Nelson says a groundswell of opposition is building against the Standards, including a growing level of concern from Maori educators. They say a National Standards system will marginalise Maori students as underachievers and harm the very students they are aiming to help.

“National Standards are completely untested and we have no idea what the risks to student learning are. Parents are being told to simply take the Minister’s word that they will lift student achievement without being offered a shred of evidence. Naturally they’re starting to question that.”

Frances Nelson says “come the start of next year how will teachers, boards and parents have any confidence that what they’re about to implement will work? The risks or consequences to student learning are completely unknown. It will be up to schools to decide how they proceed.”

NZEI says Mrs Tolley’s refusal to trial National Standards is further proof of her disregard for professional opinion and for the growing voice of community concern.

ENDS

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