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Education, GERM (Global Education Reform Movement), Government Policy, National Standards, New Zealand, NZEI, PaCT

Govt plans to impose costly tool on schools in bid to fix flawed National Standards

NZEI Te Riu Roa is urging all political parties to oppose the Government’s plan to make compulsory a computerised assessment system to measure student achievement.


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In its latest bid to give some credibility to flawed National Standards, the Ministry of Education confirmed at a Parliamentary Select Committee this morning that the Government would make the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) mandatory for all students in all primary schools from 2015.  

NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Judith Nowotarski says the PaCT tool would not fix dodgy and inconsistent National Standards.  Instead, it would harm children’s learning and quality teaching by narrowing the curriculum, cementing in invalid National Standards’ judgements about children’s achievement and de-professionalising teachers’ expertise and knowledge of students by forcing a reliance on one assessment tool.

She says it’s also concerning that by making the tool compulsory, the Government could rank individual schools or individual teachers based on student achievement.

“The PaCT tool supports the Government’s GERM (Global Education Reform Movement) agenda of high stakes measurement, and competition instead of collegiality and individualised quality learning.

“Teachers already know how well their students are doing. What they want is the ability to share new and effective teaching strategies and to access the specialist support many children that are struggling need.  The Government needs to listen to the teaching profession and work with us to focus on how to lift student achievement, particularly amongst vulnerable children, rather than impose policies that have failed overseas.”

NZEI has already urged principals and teachers not to take part in PaCT trials being run by the Ministry of Education. It welcomed unanimous support for this position by the New Zealand Principals Federation Annual Conference in Hamilton today.

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"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi


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