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Ask what schools really think about National Standards

8th March 2012
For Immediate Release

Ask what schools really think about National Standards

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says it’s a shame the Education Review Office doesn’t report on what schools really think of National Standards, because it would paint a very different picture.

ERO has told a parliamentary select committee that at least 80 percent of schools are getting on with the business of implementing National Standards.

“If you are just measuring compliance that is the simplistic picture you’re going to get,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie.

“However the back-story is that schools are coming at National Standards from a position of forced or reluctant compliance and they have no confidence that they will do anything to raise student achievement”.

“There is deep concern about the statistical validity and reliability of National Standards information, particularly with schools expected to submit National Standards student achievement data to Education Ministry with their annual financial statement by May 31,” he says.

That means the information will be publicly available and will be able to be aggregated into crude league tables that will unfairly label students, schools and their communities.

Ian Leckie says the threat of National Standards based league tables is causing a lot of anxiety and nervousness among schools.

“There is huge variation in the way National Standards are being implemented and interpreted and they do not accurately reflect each child’s overall achievement or progress. To use them to compare schools or base funding and resourcing decisions on, would be completely unfair.”

“It’s all very well for ERO to report high levels of National Standards compliance because compliance is all the government is interested in. What it doesn’t want to hear is the back-story of reluctant implementation, serious lack of confidence in National Standards data and real concern over the prospect of unfair and misleading league tables,” Mr Leckie says.


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