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Education Minister challenged to listen to her own advice

30th June 2011
For Immediate Release

Education Minister challenged to listen to her own advice and review National Standards

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is challenging the Education Minister to listen to her own advisory group and agree to a review of National Standards.

The National Standards Sector Advisory Group was set up by the Minister last year, supposedly to give the sector a voice and feedback to the government on the implementation of National Standards.

In its latest report it has recommended that the Minister launch a review of the Standards themselves alongside the current monitoring and evaluation of implementation.

“It is significant that the NSSAG is now coming out and saying the Standards need to be reviewed when the sector has been saying from the beginning that the Standards are flawed,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie.

“The big question now is will the Minister actually listen to that advice. To date she has resolutely failed to listen to any concerns from principals, teachers, academics, and parents about the way the Standards have been developed and are being implemented, and has refused to acknowledge that they should have been trialled.”

Alarm bells should also start ringing for secondary schools and parents of secondary school students. The NSSAG is recommending that the Ministry of Education be authorised to explore the possibility of extending National Standards into Years 9-10.

“To even think of extending these untried and fuzzy National Standards into the secondary system is madness,” says Ian Leckie.

“The problems the Standards are creating in primary schools cannot be ignored and it would be unethical to even try to inflict them on another group of students.”

Tomorrow more than 300 schools will hand over their charters to the Ministry of Education without National Standards information because they believe setting targets for student achievement using National Standards will produce unreliable information. They are sticking with the trusted and evidence-based assessment data they have always used.

Ian Leckie says “it really is time for the government to stop wasting its own and everyone else’s precious time, energy and money on this misguided and confused policy.”


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