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Schools advised against giving results to media

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

NZEI Te Riu Roa has advised Boards of Trustees and principals not to give information about their school's National Standards results to the news media and to refer any requests for this information back to the Ministry of Education.

This follows an Official Information Act request by the Dominion Post to all schools in the Wellington region asking for National Standards results.

NZEI National President Ian Leckie says the request is an inevitable but regrettable outcome of the National Standards process.

"We are entering a new era of 'naming and shaming' schools in order to sell newspapers and even worse, the publication of league tables will be unfair and based on faulty, misleading and valueless misinformation.

"This is another big step in the wrong direction for our children's education and the result is that quality public education is under extreme threat."

Mr Leckie says national league tables are likely to have a more serious impact on quality education than the recent class size debacle.

"National Standards do not give parents good quality information about their child's progress."

"We would also ask members of the news media to take a close look at their own ethics before publishing data that will be narrow, unfair and inaccurate."

"The Ministry of Education has indicated its intention to release information later in the year so we would question why it has advised the news media to seek this directly from schools. Especially when the Ministry itself is not in a position to give any kind of accurate evaluation based on this information."

"But let's be clear about the facts here. League tables are unfair assumptions based on narrow measures. They are based on dodgy information and will be a big step backwards for our children's education. And sadly the children most affected will be the ones who struggle now."

"League tables will force schools to narrow their teaching focus, compete for the "best" students and reject those who fall behind. This will lead to loss of creativity and individual learning because of a narrowing of the curriculum."

"The end result is that schools will begin to say no to some students - children with disabilities, children with difficulties in learning, children with social and behavioural issues and children who come from poorer backgrounds."

"Our education rankings are up with the top in the world and countries that have league tables are not up there with us."

"If parents want to know about the performance of their school or others, the best way is to visit the school and talk with the teachers and principal. They can also go to the ERO website and look up the school evaluation reports. In that way they can be assured that the information they find is truthful, in context, based on multiple factors and fair."

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