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Time for the government to face facts on National Standards


12th August 2011
For Immediate Release

It’s time for the government to face facts on National Standards

It’s time for the government to face facts about its National Standards policy and call a halt to their implementation, says the education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa.

The Education Minister has been forced to confirm that 533 schools have not set National Standards achievement targets in their charters. That number is expected to rise even further as the Ministry of Education still has more charters to process.

“The numbers are hard to ignore. 533 is a very significant number and represents more than a quarter of schools. It is very difficult now for the government to claim that the implementation of National Standards is ‘going well’,” says ’NZEI President Ian Leckie.

Those schools which have not complied have done so because they know that National Standards will produce unreliable information and they are sticking with the trusted and evidence-based assessment data they have always used. They have now been given deadlines to get their charters in order or face some sort of punitive action, which could include the sacking Boards of Trustees.

Mr Leckie says the scale of the pushback against the Standards would make that logistically impossible and there is no way the government could invoke and manage legal action against all those schools.

There are also hundreds of other schools around the country which have no confidence in the Standards and have done the bare minimum with their charters to comply.

“It’s time for the government to swallow its pride and listen to what school communities are saying - that is that National Standards have been hastily developed, rushed into schools, and will produce meaningless information which will do nothing to raise student achievement.”

“Put simply, the numbers now speak for themselves,” he says.

ends

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