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There’s nothing standard about National Standards

“Testing can be fabulous.  We can learn a lot about where our students are from tests, and we analyse the results alongside all that we know of the student to plan where the student needs to go next.  National Standards, however, are not so hot.   Don’t confuse the two.”

Read more here:

Nothing standard about National Standards

Further articles on National Standards:


Another pointless and costly National Standards exercise

national standardsThe publication of unreliable National Standards data by region today is an expensive distraction that risks creating an unhealthy competition between regions but will do nothing to help lift the educational achievement of students.

NZEI Immediate Past President Ian Leckie is questioning why the Government is releasing such poor quality and unreliable data.

“It appears the Government is trying to create some kind of regional competition around students’ results, but it’s particularly pointless because there is no mechanism for addressing student achievement or school effectiveness at a regional government level.”

Mr Leckie says the Government’s ongoing obsession with shonky National Standards has been an extremely frustrating exercise for teachers.

“More than $40 million of public money is being wasted on producing National Standards data. But teachers and schools already know which students are under-achieving. The big problem is a lack of funding to share effective teaching strategies and provide specialist support so that every child gets the education they need.”

He says the regional break-down shows variation between regions that are within the margin of error in most cases. 

“Even if the data is to be believed, all it tells us is that in regions with the highest rates of child poverty, student achievement is lower.  This tells us nothing new.”

Mr Leckie says while the regional data is uninformative and meaningless, he fears that the impending publication of school-by-school data will be very damaging.

“The publication of detailed school data by children at every year level later this month will unfairly label some schools as failing  – and risks identifying and labelling children as “failing” when they are making normal progress for their age.  

“The Minister’s own advice is that the Standards, which were never trialled or tested, need to be reviewed and adjusted. We advise parents not to place any importance on this information but to talk to their children’s teacher if they want a true picture of their child’s progress and success at school.”

National Standards will make their (skid) mark…

A warning about National Standards data – reblogged from The Daily Blog

“There is a unanimous expert opinion

– even among those championing the potential of the National Standards –

that it would be very foolish indeed to make judgments about any school

on the basis of their results.”  (Source)

Soon we will be treated to another battery of shonky data from The Ministry of Education.

John Key trumpets that “National Standards in education are a critical part of the National-led plan for securing a brighter future for New Zealand children”.   Just how, Mr Key?  Tell us how crappy data, poorly reported, helps us towards a brighter future.

Because it doesn’t give us a whole lot of faith when some assessment tools are widely reported to give inflated results and one this week announced that “new mapping has been applied to existing test results… you will notice that the curriculum levels have moved down – usually by one or two curriculum sub-levels. ”  What?

So let me get this right…  Teachers are spending hours and hours assessing kids’ work using tools approved by the Ministry.  The Ministry then decides the tools are not accurate or reliable. The end grades are then moved up and down by the Ministry (seemingly more often than whore’s drawers, and possibly with less shame).   And then the results are published as if they mean something useful…

Give me a break…

by Dianne Khan, reblogged from The Daily Blog

Read the rest here: A warning about National Standards data – reblogged from The Daily Blog

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