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Minister Holding Out On Data Purpose

Tracey Martin MP

Spokesperson for Education

19 July 2013

Minister Holding Out On Data Purpose

New Zealand First is calling on the Minister of Education to come clean on the true purpose of the National Standards Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) data.

PaCT, a multi-million-dollar assessment software tool for teachers to moderate students’ progress, was the focus of Hekia Parata’s ‘show and tell’ at a media briefing yesterday.

Education spokesperson Tracey Martin says Minister Parata either doesn’t know or won’t say what the data teachers will gather while using this tool will be used for.

Trotting out PaCT was nothing more than a publicity stunt to calm the waters after an about face on making the software mandatory after teachers and principals called for it to be boycotted.

If this ‘tool’ is merely to add to the ‘tool kit’ for informing teacher judgement why does the Ministry of Education need access to the individual classroom data?

Schools who have trialled the system say the Government will be able to get inside every classroom through a back door in the system.

It is recognised that the Government could then measure the performance of teachers and schools in isolation from other relevant information with the secret agenda of bringing in performance pay and setting school funding.

Teachers are suspicious that after National’s failed attempt to bring in performance pay for teachers in the 1990’s that this is the same wolf just dressed in digital sheep's clothing.

The level of distrust between the sector and the Minister is at an all-time high after the debacles of class room size, Novopay, charter schools, Christchurch school closures and the continued fascination with the flawed National Standards,” says Ms Martin.

ENDS

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