This great article on the Cheeky Kids blog sums up my own feelings and those of many I speak with regarding current education policy and, in particular, National Standards.
As the author says, Hekia Parata so often says she is doing this or that because parents want it – yet many don’t. And we are not consulted or listened to.
The whole article is well worth reading (in fact, if I were you I would bookmark the page and also follow the Facebook page, as they are very good), but best of all is the letter she has sent to her child’s principal – a letter I think many of you may wish to use or adapt for yourselves.
Letter To Our School Principal:
“We are very supportive of the work *** primary and in particular **’s classroom teacher does to meet the individual learning needs of **. We value, as parents, feedback received regarding **’s current learning levels and suggestions for her next steps in her learning progression. However, we do not value having ** placed next to other peers her own age in a comparative format to determine whether she is making progress satisfactory to an arbitrary standard. The National Standards, in their current form, do not factor into account the many facets of our daughter’s ability to learn, her strengths and weaknesses, along with her far more valuable talents such as measures of her creativity, problem-solving, risk-taking and social skills. It does also not measure her true happiness and engagement in the learning process. It is these skills that, as parents, we value most importantly, and not where she fits next to other children her own age, or whether or not she is meeting a ‘standard’.
Because of this, we now request that future reporting to us regarding ** learning progress be devoid of any reference to the National Standards. Furthermore, we request that feedback given to ** regarding her progress, either verbally or in written format, also make no reference to the National Standards. We welcome any correspondence from the classroom teacher that gives us information regarding her current learning levels, and suggestions for her next steps. We also do not want to add to the already enormous workload classroom teachers are under and are quite happy to simply have current reporting templates left blank in the areas mentioned.
Once again, we appreciate all the work the staff, including the classroom teacher, do for our daughter’s learning. She is enjoying all the opportunities afforded to her by attending ** Primary School”.
Read the whole article here: http://cheekykids.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/making-a-stand-not-what-we-wanted-for-our-children/
See also: https://saveourschoolsnz.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/another-family-says-no-to-national-standards/