Wednesday, February 03, 2010

National Standards

As a parent of a primary school student I suppose I should have an opinion about the introduction of National Standards. Firstly there are schools, and there are schools. My firsthand experience extends only to my child's school which is a decile 10 school. I have anecdotal knowledge of other schools but it is very limited. For instance a friend had sent his children to a decile 1 school because he was in the zone. Eventually he pulled his children from the school because they were spending too much time trying to help non-English speaking children to learn. He had wanted to support the local school but the cost was too high. There is a great deal of difference between decile 10 and decile one schools.

When we visit the teacher at our school we are given information about how our child is performing relative to her age. This is based on testing. I had a look at the school's targets and performance to find out what the tests are called and discovered a range depending on what year is involved. Evaluations include national end-of-year NumPA benchmark norms, PAT maths test and IKAN and NZ English Curriculum Benchmarks, etc.

Our school compares itself performance-wise to other decile ten schools. Which is meaningful and fair. In its own assessment of how the school is achieving the board notes;

We note that these types of assessments and the use of results is aligned with the expectations of the National Standards programme that all schools will have to deliver by 2010.

I don't know how the staff or board feel about the introduction of national standards but it would seem to me superfluous.

It looks like those schools that are not producing children meeting satisfactory levels of literacy and numeracy are responsible for the imposition of unnecessary universal policy.

But that is the story of New Zealand isn't it? Forever introducing rules and regulations to try and fix problems that are not universal.


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

So you mean to say that many schools ALREADY operate these national standards or something similar?

Funny how the teachers union doesn't seem too keen to tell us that.

Anonymous said...

Back in the early fifties when i went to Wilford primary school in Petone, my standard one class had an Indian girl, two Ukrainian brothers and a Hungarian boy. all were children of recent imigrants to our country and lacking in english language skills. Conseqeuntly they received a lot of the teachers time to assist them overcome their disadvantage.

I on the other hand got little of the teachers attention other than being told my mindless behaviour ( or words to that effect) was wasting the teachers time.

Turns out the teacher was right and I was just dumb and would never learn.

Just an observation.


Anonymous said...

Can you explain the "decile" classification process please. Is it undertaken on a national basis? If so, who effects the classifications? What factors are incorporated into the classifications etc..? Is their a data base listing all schools by their decile classifications? I am a parent but sadly through neglect and following my nose to non-state schools I've never really addressed the above. Your advice would be appreciated.


Ozy Mandias said...

Good Comment Lindsay and you are correct about the idea of standards. Good schools are already giving that information to parents!!!

The real issue for schools, BOT and the Union is not so much the standards but what is done with the information. They don't want the information published in tables but this seems to be the line education will go down.

Anonymous said...

They don't want the information published in tables but this seems to be the line education will go down.

of course they don't. They are leftist SCUM.

But Tolley will win this war, and hopefully wipe out the education unions in the process.

Ozy Mandias said...

A war it will be.

It will be interesting to see how strong the primary teacher union is and if they can keep together on this issue.

Standards will bring more clarity across the board.
Lindsay you say your school already ranks your pupils with other high decile primary schools in NZ. I would ask where do they get that information from??

National standards will clear all this up and provide parents with exactly where their kids are.