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New era of unfair education league tables a step closer

8 August
Immediate Release

New era of unfair education league tables a step closer

The move to publish untested National Standards information through a new website is a step towards unfair league tables and a big step backwards for quality public education.

NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Ian Leckie says this will unfairly create winner and loser schools and it goes completely against the principles of quality public education for all New Zealand children.

“We’re now into the era of naming and shaming schools, teachers, students and their families. It will be especially tough on those schools that have a significant number of students who do not meet the narrow National Standards benchmark. These schools are often in the poorer suburbs and teach the very children the Minister claims to target.”

Mr Leckie says schools around the country are alarmed at the unfairness of publicising ill-conceived and inaccurate league tables based on “ropey” and narrow national standards.

“We’ve been inundated with calls from concerned teachers and members of Boards of Trustees from schools in all deciles.”

Mr Leckie says today’s moves to measure schools and students in this way will not improve educational outcomes and will have a negative effect on the way education is delivered in this country.

“Schools will now be forced to focus their teaching on a very narrow part of the curriculum in order to compete with other schools rather than focusing on children’s individual learning.”

“Our New Zealand curriculum has helped New Zealand outperform most countries in the world in educational outcomes. Our quality teaching recognizes that children are individuals and learn differently.”

League tables based on National Standards are a crude and simplistic measurement tool that do not provide any real indication of the quality of education in a school and will not improve educational outcomes.

“We urge the Government to look at the education system in countries such as Finland, which outperform us, rather than adopting failed practices from countries which perform below us in educational achievement.”

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