Saturday, February 06, 2010

National Standards 4 - still unpersuaded

John Hattie is "Auckland University professor, student assessment expert and the man top politicians in this country see for advice about education". This is what I have been saying, or attempting to say, about the introduction of National Standards;

If it ain't broke...

Hattie's first point is that, despite sweeping claims of failure by Key and Education Minister Anne Tolley, the New Zealand school system is in good shape, especially compared with the rest of the world.

National standards, he argues, are usually the catchcry of countries where the education system is in serious trouble. They have been introduced in the US, Britain and Australia but none of these countries have been able to show any overall improvement in student achievement.

Hattie believes national standards may lift the performance of a few children at the bottom of the educational heap but says the average will not change because bright children will be neglected. He thinks the policy threatens to destroy one of the great strengths of New Zealand's education system, which recognises that children of the same age have different academic abilities and allows them to learn at the level of their current ability.

There is an indication later in the piece that the Minister is allowing schools to keep "their own testing system, rather than introducing national testing." So now I will try to find out exactly what that means.


Anonymous said...

Schools have to report twice a year on every student against objective standards - students can be Above, At Standard, Below, or Well Below defined standards in Writing and Maths.

Every single private school in the country uses PAT tests or STANINE tests which give decile information - rather more precise than this - but the ministry is correlating those tests to the standards.

What's changing is that now all socialist "schools" indoctrination centers (state schools) will also have to do those tests - or do something else that evaluates students against the standards, it doesn't have to be tests; and that the data is reported publically, not just to parents

Really it is still so fucking lefty: there are no standard tests that all students sit; there's lots of affirmative action crap "Tena koutou katoa, Nau, mai, harere mai, Ki tenie kauhau
Welcome to this National Standards Introductory Webinar"
but just the hint of league tables, bulk funding, etc and the teacher unions are running for their barricades, crash helmets, baseball bats and molotov cocktails.

But the good news is: Tolley and the AOS will be ready for them!

Anonymous said...

Quoting from the webinar at

In 2010 schools will:

* Provide at least two written reports to parents, families and whānau in plain language about their child’s progress and achievement in relation to the standards.

Ironically, this really has been capture by the commies in the ministry. A real reform of NZ's schools would need only three things:

* real international exams given to all students at the same time
* repeal section 139A of the education act, so that schools can maintain discipline.
* repeal sections 3 and 20 of the education act (and other consequential changes) privatizing all state schools