National Standards Released

National standards have been released. They were released by Education Minister Hekia Parata today.

What does the data say? Nothing because every single teacher in New Zealand has assessed their students independently. There has been some moderation, but ultimately around 50,000 different (educated) assessments were made on New Zealand children last year.

No relevant conclusions can be garnered by looking at these results and comparing them either to each other (by year group), or across schools, regions or ethnicities.

They are not statistics. They are a vast collection of independent assessments.

Prominent National Party blogger and pollster David Farrar (kiwiblog) says this…

For some reasons Labour, Greens and the teacher unions spent years fighting against the Government being able to know how students are doing against a national standard! Good to see some modest improvements. Well done the teachers and schools (and parents and pupils) who have contributed to that.

…which is a tad patronising.

Firstly, we have been fighting national standards because they send education backwards. They have in the United Kingdom. They have in the United States. They have in Australia. They will here.

Secondly, as Allan Alach pointed out in a collative (from recent writings by Kevin Smythe) blog last evening, the data being collected by the government is being manipulated behind the scenes. This I plan to talk more about in a future post.

Not only are the national standards unreliable, the collected information is then being changed by boffins in Wellington – presumably to either make themselves look better, or justify their own warped vision for education in this country.

It was pleasing to hear Labour education spokesman Chris Hipkins firmly announce on the news this evening his party’s plans to dump this useless system of box ticking.

The sooner we devolve responsibility for education policy to teachers and educational researchers the better off our children, your children, will be.

Mr B



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