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Education, Government Policy, John Key, Lead / Expert Teachers, National Party, National Standards, New Zealand, NZEI

Disgust over use of National Standards to select “top” teachers

headdeskReports today that National Standards will be used as the benchmark to select and review the performance of an elite group of expert teachers and principals has appalled educators.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski said National Standards data remained invalid and unreliable. An NZCER survey published last November found only 7 percent of principals thought they were robust.

“National Standards outcomes do not show the true educational progress of a student and are therefore an absurd and insulting way to identify great teachers.

“Linking large pay bonuses for teachers to narrow student outcomes in this way risks ‘teaching to the standard’, as well as making unfair judgements about teachers of students with special needs or learning difficulties.”

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced the creation of financial incentives for approximately 6000 teachers and principals, with the aim of raising student achievement – a move that fails to address the inequity and poverty that are the key cause of student underachievement.

Ms Nowotarski said this policy was clearly not thought through.

“The Prime Minister has rushed to create ‘good news’ ahead of creating sound policy. He needs to come clean with the full details of this scheme,” she said.

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