I am the Minister of Education and I am more stoked than an illegal Christchurch log-burner. How exciting is a day like today when we can release a vast amount of information to our good friends in the mainstream media.
There are some important things to remember when you read stories about the release of this years National Standards information.
Firstly, over 400,000 children were put through their paces by thousands more teachers around the country. It’s a testament to the hard work of the visionaries we are in this government that we have data despite the fact that so very many teachers don’t believe in standards of this nature because they know this system of assessment harks back to a time when education prepared students for work in the factories and farms of the much-loved Victorian era rather than the high-tech future we are actually heading towards.
Secondly, the fact that we have seen statistically insignificant increases in students who are meetings our beloved standards, doesn’t mean that the system is faltering. Far from it. No, what it means is that teachers are becoming more familiar with the standards when they are assessing students more successfully against them. We are not using the word stagnation here. It’s important to remember that stagnation will only ever happen under a Labour government.
Thirdly, some people might look at the figures from Northland or Gisborne and think that perhaps socioeconomic issues are coming into play here. This is a load of rubbish. I know for a fact that some students weren’t able to make it to school on the day that the standards were assessed. Or maybe they weren’t able to be assessed because the teachers weren’t trying hard enough. Or maybe there were some other reasons that I haven’t made up yet. I’d like to state here and now that intergenerational poverty has absolutely no impact on student achievement whatsoever. I know this is a fact because I’ve just written it in a sentence.
Unless we lose the election the month after next because we end up being Nigel Nomates, which I very much doubt will happen because we have some very strong and talented coalition options, then National Standards are here to stay.