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End Of Year Report Marks National Standards "Well Below"

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
End Of Year Report Marks National Standards "Well Below"

As schools finish for the year, a survey shows an overwhelming majority of school principals say they won't or are unlikely to meet a deadline for sending in information on student achievement based on National Standards.

The Ministry of Education wants schools to send in their student achievement targets using information from National Standards by January 31st next year.

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa surveyed 500 principals to get an updated picture of where schools are at with National Standards, one year on from their introduction.

Of those principals surveyed, 48% said they would not meet the Ministry's suggested deadline, describing it as "very unrealistic", while another 32% said it was "unrealistic" and they were unlikely to meet it.

The survey also asked principals whether they had more or less confidence in National Standards and their implementation compared to when they were introduced in February.

58% said they had less confidence, 18% said they had more, and 12% were undecided.

In terms of identifying some of the issues, 67% said the timeframe for implementation was too tight, 81% believed there were design flaws in that the Standards don't match with current assessment tools, and 81% said there were big problems with moderation and national consistency in terms of teacher judgements.

NZEI President Frances Nelson says the survey clearly shows that one year on, schools are still struggling with the concept of National Standards and are encountering real difficulties in implementing them.

"The reason so many principals say they are unlikely to meet the suggested target-setting deadline is because there is still too much uncertainty and inconsistency. They don't want to be reporting against a set of National Standards which they know don't accurately or meaningfully reflect student achievement in their schools."

"It's also important to remember that if schools don't feel confident about the Standards they are within their legal rights to defer target setting against them," she says.

"The confused situation we've got one year on from National Standards was entirely predictable and will only deepen next year if the Government continues to ignore the concerns being expressed and take significant steps to address the problems."

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