NZEI President Louise Green says the biggest issues impacting on children’s learning are poverty and inequality, and there has been little serious progress on these issues.
“The National Standards data released by the Ministry of Education today shows little change in reading, writing and maths results, but has led to teachers wasting valuable teaching time and children losing more learning time in order to meet the Government’s demand for the unreliable data, she says.
“It is even more astonishing that the Government might be considering the use of such poor quality data to determine school funding or the performance of teachers,” Louise Green says.
“Teachers and schools already know which students are under achieving and we know what we can do to help them. The big problem is a lack of resourcing, including the freeze on special education staff and insufficient funding for quality support staff, to ensure children needing the most support get it when they need it.
“New Zealand continues to spend less per student on the primary sector than the OECD average. Meanwhile recent research shows a huge impact on low decile schools of white flight, resulting in smaller schools that lose expert teachers and operational funding.”
“There is no substantive evidence that National Standards have contributed to any significant increase in children’s literacy or numeracy. It’s time to stop this experiment with our children’s learning and focus our attention on the things that will really make a difference.”