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Government Needs To Read Between The Lines With National Standards Report

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The latest report on the implementation of National Standards shows the majority of schools are still unprepared and understanding remains at very low levels, according to the education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa.

The Education Review Office report on National Standards implementation is based on a study of just 80 of New Zealand's 2200 primary and intermediate schools. Of those 80 schools, it shows that only 27 were well prepared to work with the Standards while preparation was underway in 47 others.

Earlier this month 240 schools came out saying they had no confidence in the Standards and are deferring setting student achievement targets against them next year. A recent survey of 350 schools by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research also showed considerable variation in where schools are at with the Standards and their ability to implement them.

"What lies clearly beneath the statistics is the resounding lack of confidence in National Standards by schools, teachers and parents," says NZEI President Frances Nelson.

"We know many schools have tried to get prepared and work with the Standards but they are quickly reaching the conclusion that they will do little to enhance student learning and achievement."

The ERO report also highlights the continuing low levels of understanding of the Standards among teachers and boards of trustees. It shows the Standards were well understood by just 32 percent of teachers and 10 percent of trustees.

"The government cannot spin the statistics and say that schools are effectively implementing National Standards when there are such big gaps in understanding. It's a big disconnect and doesn't make sense," says Ms Nelson.

NZEI continues to call on the government to listen to the concerns of principals, teachers and parents, acknowledge the problems and commit to taking a genuine look at the issues.

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