Thursday, February 04, 2010

More on National Standards

Reaction to yesterday's post about the existence of standards already, included skepticism and some questions. For instance if the school compares itself to other decile 10 schools, where does it get the information? From its ERO report;

"____ School emphasises teaching and learning in literacy and numeracy. As a result, a considerable amount of student achievement information has been gathered in these areas since the 2004 ERO report. Since that time, increased use has been made of national assessment tools to gather school‑wide data to support annual target setting and guide teaching practice. This information is further analysed in terms of gender and ethnicity, and shows comparison between students at ____School and those at schools of a similar type and decile ranking.

School-wide achievement data are collected for reading, written language, spelling, mathematics, including numeracy and basic facts. Overall, the majority of students at ____ School achieve well above national norms for the assessment tools used, with only a small percentage underachieving. This is gauged through the use of Supplementary Tests of Achievement in Reading (STAR) and Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs). Other national assessment tools are used to show achievement in writing and numeracy against the levels of the curriculum.

Since 2004, the annual targets have aimed to raise achievement for specific year groups or for small groups of students within each cohort who are performing below national norms for the tests and the school’s expectations. Results, using soundly analysed achievement information, show a steady improvement over time.

The March 2007 results from STAR showed that well over 70% of students in years 4 to 8 scored between stanines 5 to 9, with 96% of the year 7 students in this range. Results from the mathematics PAT indicated that approximately 60% of the years 4 and 5 students, 75% of the year 8 students and 80% of the years 6 and 7 students scored in this range.

The school can show some comparative data for specific year groups that indicate continuous improvement. In particular, the information for written language across years 4 to 8 is well analysed to show the rate of progress made within a year."

Standards are already used. And the results are shown to parents at parent/teacher interviews.

I don't think the achieving schools are worried about published tables. It'll be under-achieving schools who will feel (somewhat understandably) aggrieved by comparisons. But I am for publication. Name the problem or it cannot begin to be solved.

But what my post was about is how we turn specific problems into universal ones and impose change where none is needed.


brian_smaller said...

I thought the standard being talked about was where a kid was inrelation to a National standard for a particular age - and that national Standard will be like
1. Able to read and write to this level.

Anonymous said...

I think it is likely to be under-performing teachers who are most alarmed by a national standard being introduced. This thought explains why the teachers' own representative body is being so antagonistic towards the recent proposal.


Shem Banbury said...

Cadwallader - unions are opposed because of the threat of league tables which will rank schools.

The difficulty is how do you propose to assess under performing teachers and schools?