22 August 2013
Expert to grade assessment tool.
Leading educational researcher and academic Lester Flockton will meet with Auckland school principals next week to give his appraisal of the Education Ministry’s new assessment tool. Mr Flockton, who has been honoured for his services to education, will give his verdict on the online Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) that is being developed by the Ministry of Education as a National Standards computerised assessment tool.
The $5.2 million PaCT tool is being developed to track the progress of students and to bring greater consistency to the collection of school data, which Prime Minister John Key described as “ropey” last year. The tool has been surrounded with controversy since it was proposed and last month Minister Parata reversed her stand which would have made its use mandatory from 2015. Ministry officials have stated however, that they expect most schools to adopt it.
Lester Flockton has previously expressed concern that the tool might be of little use in improving teaching and learning in classrooms, but instead be focused on the supply of data to Ministry of Education officials.
Flockton was one of the founding directors of the Educational Assessment Research Unit at the University of Otago, and one of the prime developers and co-directors of New Zealand’s National Education Monitoring Project.