ERO Report Useful Rather than Alarming
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says a leaked Education Review Office report into teaching practices in Years 1 and 2 provides some useful information and is not as alarming as the government claims.
The report is designed to identify areas of good teacher practice as well as areas for skill development. It found that in the vast majority of the 212 schools evaluated, reading and writing is being taught to a high or good standard. It also confirms that most teachers take on the responsibility for literacy learning and a child’s success with passion, commitment and a high degree of skill.
NZEI President Frances Nelson says there is a lot of information in the report which comes as no surprise.
“For example we know that because of lower junior class ratios and the way staffing comes in to schools at varying times during the year, many schools are putting beginning teachers into their Year 1 and 2 classrooms. Ideally, teachers in these levels should be the most experienced. This is a well documented problem.”
Ms Nelson says as the government continues to push its controversial National Standards policy, it’s good to see the report recognising that teachers are using a range of tools to assess children’s reading and writing – rather than a narrow one size fits all approach.
The report acknowledges that New Zealand children achieve very well by international standards.
“It should not be used to manufacture a crisis for political gain,” says Ms Nelson.
“Teachers and principals are committed to raising student achievement across the board. The value of this report is that it gives us some good baseline information. The challenge is to build on the effective quality teaching which is happening in the vast majority of schools, and support the very small percentage where this needs to be developed.”