Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Draw a few conclusions

The national standards are now entering an interesting stage. The hit list exists. "Someone" got a former head of ERO to "cold call" schools asking "how they are going with implementing the standards". The former head said it was a random call. After speaking with one of the "random" principals, I know they certainly felt like it was "pressure" and "information gathering".

So what conclusions can be drawn.

"Someone" is angry at opposition of the standards and has asked for a list to be drawn up.
"Someone" has asked a big gun to do an investigation and place pressure on these schools.
"Someone" formed the cunning strategy of saying the cold call list is random.
So who in the Ministry or in Parliament has the power to make this happen.
You draw the conclusions.

So its law, just do it. What do you do when the law is an ass. What did Maori do when they weren't allowed to speak the beautiful language in schools? The law changed in the 30's but the practice continued through to the 70's. Those that complied lost their language. Those that didn't comply, well you draw the conclusion.

Are we going to wait twenty years to look back and say "that experiment with our kids" was a lemon? Are we going to sit by and accept a law written on an election slogan?
The letter that our leading academic researchers wrote to the minister saying these can have the effect of actually doing damage. The research is saying no. The law, yes.

I wouldn't mind seeing the law tested for lacking evidence.

If I was to grade the standards thus far, and gave those who strung them together, then the "Mary team" would be "below" but thats an OTJ.

I challenge all schools who are going mad designing Nat Standards to share their living local curriculum NZC first please.


Mac Stevenson said...

Well said Luke. The voice of reason. I am amazed at the degree of forelock tugging that is going on currently and I believe your well reasoned stance is the way to go.

Come on you other principals out there. What say you?

Allan Alach said...

We accept your challenge, Luke! We are maintaining our focus on the NZC and will continue doing so. I think that if we all do that, making sure that our parent communities are well informed about curriculum implementation, its values and principles, then we can win this battle. The Nats sold this to voters on the basis of ensuring that parents get information on student achievement in plain language (whatever the hell that is). We should then work very hard to ensure that we provide parents with clear, precise and informative information about all aspects of their children's education (I don't mean the so-called aspirational standards). If parents are happy with the information they receive, then the govt loses the emotional lever that they used to prey on parental concerns. Once parents are happy, then they won't give a stuff about schools not supplying data to the MOE. As a careful read of the NAGs will reveal, reporting to parents was always a sideshow to the main aim of getting data for school comparisons and league tables.

Regan Orr said...

Well said, Luke. Many schools are in a quandary with what to do, what to change, what to unpack......unpack the NZC and maintain your focus on this document. Maintaining our focus on NZC will ensure our children have a rich learning and teaching experience. Good post.

Fletchspeak said...

Actually Luke I don't see what all the fuss is about. I see the Nat Stds as another step in the development of our personal curriculum. Albeit our interpretation will not look like the version those that designed the Nat Stds may like but we have something to play with. I guess it is a bit like the kid in class who writes his story instead of avoiding the inevitable. The teacher says well done Dave for trying - I will leave you alone to get on with things and you get a pat on the back. The world loves a tryer - and despises those who screw up their nose and suck on their thumb.
Nothing to lose at this stage mate?

Podgorani said...

fair points by all. so what about the NZEI survey that said 600 principals were treating them with distain, and who cares. nice to see and hear, aunty anne will be embarrassed.