School principals in the Wellington region have been asked to provide 'student performance data' to a Dominion Post journalist. 'We predicted four years ago that this was a likely outcome if national standards went ahead,' said Paul Drummond, President of the New Zealand Principals' Federation. 'It's exactly what has happened in other countries where national standards or testing have been introduced,' he said.
School principals are opposed to the creation of league tables because rather than providing parents with truthful information about a school's performance, they do the opposite.
'Any information or league tables built from national standards data is misleading,' said Drummond. 'League tables would be representing children's performance in a two subject set of very immature standards which have never been trialled or stood the test of time,' he said. 'Teachers can't even agree on their interpretation, never mind apply them consistently across schools and so far there is no way to moderate them either,' he said.
'In our profession we aspire to be the best in the world and we are very close to achieving that through our world-class curriculum. We don't want to denigrate our reputation and world-class rankings by indulging in a system which has pulled achievement levels down in other countries,' he said.
'Our parents deserve the best information on their children's progress that we can give them. They want to know how their child is progressing at every level and in every subject area and we intend to give them that information. We do not support the creation of league tables made up of immature untrialled data in two subjects. Not only does it give an incomplete picture of a school, it misleads the parents and we will not condone that,' he said.
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