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Statement from Chair of the National Standards Group

Statement from Chair of the National Standards Sector Advisory Group

Chair of the National Standards Sector Advisory Group, Professor Gary Hawke, says he is delighted that President of the NZEI, Ian Leckie acknowledges that the group should be listened to.

“However, I am glad to repeat what I have told him before, that the Minister has always been responsive to its advice.”
“That includes previous recommendations from NSSAG that the National Standards initiative should be conceived explicitly as a process of learning by doing and continual improvement.”

The NSSAG has welcomed the way that both Ministry staff and processes and also funding for professional learning and development have been aligned with that conception.

At its most recent meeting, NSSAG simply recommended that those monitoring and evaluating implementation of National Standards should be mandated to begin exploring how continual improvement might be extended to the way the Standards are stated.

Leading schools are reporting great success in using National Standards as a tool to diagnose where gains in student achievement are available, and teachers are choosing strategies and mobilising support to realise those gains. Their input is most important in suggesting how the implementation of National Standards can be facilitated and also in identifying where it might be possible to improve the statement of the Standards themselves.

NSSAG was careful to specify that there should be plenty of opportunity for deliberation and consultation before any standards are modified.

Mere assertion of “fundamental flaws” has no merit. Participation in continual improvement can accelerate the enhancement of student achievement which is widely if not universally welcomed.


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