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Fuzzy National Standards Fail Confidence Test Again

5 May 2011

Fuzzy National Standards Fail Confidence Test Again

The Government should call “time out” on the National Standards after an ERO report released yesterday showed 63% of teachers had only limited or some understanding of them, the education union representing primary teachers, NZEI Te Riu Roa says.

NZEI President Ian Leckie said the ERO report again confirmed the Standards were “fuzzy” and unreliable.

“The low level of understanding reflects genuine bafflement at the Standards, not any incompetence from teachers. It also reflects what we know from principals, Boards and parents.

“Independent polling shows 59% of parents either do not believe or do not know if National Standards improve the quality of education. It’s no wonder most parents (73%) think teachers can give a better assessment of their child’s progress than the Standards can. (1)

“Parents should be rightly skeptical about how unreliable the Standards are at measuring student achievement. ERO should also be asking if there is any shared understanding across schools because the Standards are so flawed and “fuzzy” that they are not being interpreted consistently nationally.

“If just one-third of teachers say they understand them well 18 months after they arrived in schools, it’s time the Government properly engaged with the teaching profession about re-directing this mistaken idea and the resources it is taking into programmes we know really do deliver success for children.”

Principals, Boards and parents have consistently called for a trial of the Standards to ensure they will be good for children’s learning and more than 300 Boards are refusing publicly to fully implement the Standards.

(1) Essential Research poll, March 2011


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