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Fight against National Standards moves to new battleground

Fight against National Standards will move to new battleground

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says the fight against ‘National Standards’ is far from over and will move to a new battleground.

Hundreds of schools have now been bullied into including ‘National Standards’ in their charters despite serious concerns that they will do nothing to raise student achievement and will negatively impact on children’s learning.

NZEI President Ian Leckie says opposition to ‘National Standards’ is as strong as ever.

“Forcing schools to be minimally compliant does not mean opposition to ‘National Standards’ has been stymied. Just because a school has been ordered to put a statement in its charter does not mean it will be implementing ‘National Standards’ or measuring children against them”.

“Schools are complying because they don’t want statutory managers put in place, but that can in no way be seen as an endorsement of what is untried and fundamentally flawed educational policy. The crisis of confidence in ‘National Standards’ remains,” he says.

Schools and communities know that “National Standards” and the imposition of ‘National Standards’ targets will produce inconsistent ‘junk’ data on student achievement.

Polling shows that an overwhelming majority of principals, teachers and parents are very worried by the prospect of league tables and believe it will be unfair to compare schools based on ‘National Standards’ information.

“As the implementation of ‘National Standards’ continues to play out, that is where the real battleground will be and we know that it is something that school communities feel very strongly about,” says Mr Leckie.

“The more people see of ‘National Standards’ and see the consequences of untested policy on children and school communities, the more they realise that ‘National Standards’ contribute absolutely nothing to their children’s learning or achievement.”

“There can be no victory for the government in forcing schools and communities to do something which they are ethically opposed to and which they believe has the potential to harm children and New Zealand’s great education system,” he says.

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