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Government continues its obsession with testing children

Government continues its obsession with testing children

25 September 2014

Primary teachers and principals say testing students in their first two years of secondary school would stifle creativity and exacerbate the damage caused by National Standards in primary education.

NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Judith Nowotarski says she backs the concerns of the PPTA following the Minister of Education’s signalling of the introduction of a national assessment for Years 9 and 10 students.

Ms Nowotarski says it would be a tragedy if education at Years 9 and 10 became dominated by testing and ranking students.

She says the forcing of National Standards on the primary school sector has been very damaging for many students, particularly those who are vulnerable or struggling.

“We need to question why the government has such an obsession with endless testing of students – against the advice of educators.”

“In the primary sector, we’ve already seen a narrowing of the curriculum and the demotivating effect on students of being labelled a failure, despite the best efforts of teachers.

“Currently secondary schools are able to offer a more flexible curriculum in the first two years of schooling and this helps keep many students interested and engaged in learning.

“It would be a tragedy to see our quality education system further stifled by more meaningless testing and ranking.

“The Minister of Education simply does not seem to understand that children are not all the same and don’t learn in the same way or at the same pace. And that endless testing takes time and energy away from real teaching and learning.”

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