This whole national standards issue is a joke.
I dont know what is more embarrassing, the unions, the NZPF or the National Government.
All we ask for is some balance to the argument, and some leadership.
Im not sure who to credit for this article but it did come via the APPA (auckland Primary principals Association.
Now there is also another side, which is some schools are bloody useless and something is needed, my theory revolves around giving ERO the teeth to sack teachers and principals and having 8yr contracts for principals (ouch).
National Standards and concerns/issues
Our school will do what is required in 2010, but we have ongoing concerns about the standards. These concerns include:
- The standards have not been trialled in NZ and respectful requests for a trial by a number of organizations and individuals, including respected academics, have been rejected out of hand by the Minister of Education, Anne Tolley and the Prime Minister, John Key.
- This system has failed in other countries to improve student achievement
- The Minister has an advisory group of academics to advise her about the implementation of the standards in schools that does not include a teacher or a principal
- We already use a range of assessment tools and the processes involved in deciding where your child sits on the standards will involve extensive moderation work. Our school is not resourced for this work, nor are schools being resourced to attend training in the implementation of the standards
- There has been insufficient genuine consultation with teachers or principals about the standards
- Each standard has a number of descriptors that will make it extremely confusing to align the standards with standardised assessment results, the NZ Curriculum levels, and overall teacher judgment
- Children begin their formal schooling at varying levels of capability and they progress at different rates. National standards do not acknowledge this
- Learning is individual, it takes time, it is different for everyone and it is emotional. Placing harmful pressure on young children is likely to be counter productive to their learning and development
- The national standards will label some children during their first year at school as failing. This is of major concern to educators as early learning must be positive for children
- The possibility of “league tables” that publicly compare schools will have a detrimental effect on many schools, particularly those located in low decile areas
- We would much prefer government funding going into learning support programmes that we know work well to improve student achievement
- Principals and teachers are feeling that our profession has been totally discredited and that the tail of under achievement is the fault of schools alone. We all know that there are other significant variables that contribute to low achievement levels
These issues and concerns need to be understood by all parents and caregivers and they need to be debated and acknowledged. Please feel free to call in to school to see our senior staff to discuss anything related to this new government requirement.