National Standards should go – teachers
Original article: National standards should go – teachers
The possibility national standards in schools could be scrapped has many Manawatū educators rubbing their hands with glee, and parents relieved.
The programme set in place standard measures to decide whether pupils have reached required accomplishments.
It was made compulsory for years 1-8 in reading, writing and maths from 2010 as one of the first actions by National Government. This year, Labour made it an election pledge to review the law if it came to power.
Widespread frustration with national standards was clear, Manawatu Principals’ Association President Wayne Jenkins said.
“They were not an effective means of improving student learning. I do not foresee any school fighting… their repeal or removal.”
He would like them to continue to be available should schools choose to use them, but did not want them to be compulsory.
“We need to be able to have ways of assessing students wider than the national standards. We need to look at how we can assess for example the essential skills and social learning skills that are going to be key, life-long skills.”
The programme had not done what it was introduced for, and worse, was a “barrier” to learning because it was time consuming, Kairanga School principal Alastair Schaw said.
After 21 years as a school principal, he believed schools were reporting to parents honestly and helpfully about their children’s progress before the standards were introduced.
“National standards was a populist lie, rushed in without a proper voice from [educators].
“The teaching profession will celebrate. Never before have I seen such a waste of time and effort in the establishment and running of something that meant so little.”
As a standard, they were not effective, because every school interpreted them differently, he said.
His school would drop them if it became legal and continue to use standardised testing tools within the New Zealand curriculum, called curriculum levels.
Whakarongo School principal Jaco Broodryk said he would be “delighted” if national standards were scrapped, and believed they were “detrimental” to learning and teaching.