A few weeks ago the Ministry of Education introduced the National Standards in English-medium schools with pupils in Years 1 to 8.
The standards set clear expectations that students need to meet in reading, writing, and mathematics in the first eight years at school.
– Assess individual students’ progress and achievement in relation to the standards.
– Support students to use assessment information to inform their own learning goals and their next learning steps.
– Use a range of assessment information.
– Provide regular report to parents in plain language about their children's progress in relation to National Standards, including twice a year in writing.
– Provide clear information to parents, families and whānau so they can support their children's learning at home.
Even Education Minister Anne Tolley says Nielsen survey results in the New Zealand Herald confirm the overwhelming support parents have for National Standards.
73 per cent of parents said they are in favour of the National Standards in reading, writing and maths which were introduced last week in primary and intermediate schools. 13 per cent have yet to make up their minds.
However, New Zealand Education Institute is against the National Standards.
The NZEI had a signature campaign at my daughter Kindergarten and they explained why NZEI against the Scheme.
They said there is widespread concern about the Standards from parents,educational experts, principals and teachers that the Standards are untested.
They are worried because :
Untested: The Government is rushing to implement the Standards without an evidence that they will raise achievement.
National Standard regimes in other countries have failed and are being abandoned. New Zealand children are already achieving very well compared to other countries.
Demoralising: Not all children come to school equal. Some children have strengths and talents in parts of the curriculum.
One Size Fits All : National Standards encourage schools to march children through fixed annual levels for reading, writing and maths based on their age. In fact, children develop at their own pace, with wide variation in their progress.
Unnecessary: Schools already use a wide variety of assessment tools to identity children’s progress and already know which children are struggling.
Inaccurate: Overseas, national standards regimes have led to the manipulation of data, inaccurate classification of students, inconsistent moderation of standards across schools and reduced flexibility in the curriculum.
Misleading: Media publication of National Standards data in the form of school league tables will create incorrect and unfair perceptions about “good” and “Bad” schools. This will reinforce prejudice about low decile schools that may in fact be very effective in raising student achievement.