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Principals Praise ERO Report

Media Release 30 August 2012 – for immediate release
Attention: Education and Political Reporters

Principals Praise ERO Report

President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, Paul Drummond, today said, ‘The three major findings expressed in the latest ERO report concur with current principals’ thinking.’

The three-fold findings are first, that if we want to lift the achievement of children not succeeding as well as their peers, students should be at the heart of learning and teaching. Secondly, teachers need to implement a responsive curriculum in schools and thirdly, we need to improve in the way we use assessment and evaluation processes so that they are responsive to information about students.

Drummond said, ‘We have always emphasised that the best teaching model aims for individualised, not standardised learning, using a broad rich curriculum which can offer multiple pathways for learning and we have always said that assessment needs to be used alongside other professional observations, to establish the next learning steps for children.’

‘These functions run counter to the current government’s education reforms which call for standardisation rather than individualised learning,’ said Drummond. ‘The reforms also bring a sharp focus for a narrow two subject curriculum, rather than support a rich broad curriculum and national standards introduce a summative form of assessment to be used for school accountability rather than for identifying children’s next learning steps,’ he said.

The one factor missing from the ERO analysis is the issue of child poverty, recently highlighted by the Children’s Commissioner as contributing to underperformance at many levels including education.

‘We cannot continue to ignore this factor when undertaking analyses of factors that will make a difference for those children not experiencing learning success,’ said Drummond.

ENDS

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