Dom Post on school assessment

The Dom Post editorial:

Education Minister should stick to her guns.

Parents are entitled to know how their children are doing at primary school and, if unimpressed, should be able to march them off to a school that is performing better, taking the state funding attached to him or her with them.

Hear hear.

Regrettably, this Government is not brave enough to go that far. But it should not resile from implementing its “national standards” policy in the teeth of opposition from principals and unionised teachers or buckle to their wish to have such information kept secret. …

What is it exactly that teachers and principals so fear? What is wrong with sharing with taxpayers those who pay to keep state operating just which do well and which do not? Is it that teachers’ methods might be scrutinised if their pupils are not keeping up with their countrywide cohort? Are they afraid that pay rises might not be forthcoming if it turns out that the youngsters in their class are falling behind?

A fear of accountability I say.

If so, principals and the NZEI would profit from looking across the Tasman to Labor-ruled New South Wales, where a similar row has erupted. There, the Greens and the Coalition equivalent to our National Party have joined forces in the NSW Senate to make it illegal to compile league tables backed by fines of up to $55,000 for organisations such as newspapers from statistics publicly available on a federal website. Labor’s deputy prime minister, Julia Gillard, has ridiculed the NSW ban.

While in NZ wants to make school assessment data more secret than the SIS.

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