In the last couple of months the education unions have been strident against the proposed national standards. However a copy of the May Education Review shows this was not always the case:
Educational Institute President Frances Nelson said she was “particularly optimistic” that the new standards would be useful, as they were based on and improved on a system already in use. Data collected through the tests would help teachers decide what to teach next, help schools plan ahead, and provide parents with better reports on their children’s progress.
“The ministry and minister have worked on something much more robust than anything I have seen in the world at this time,” she said.
So what has happened since May? Did she get Mallarded?
Principals Federation president Ernie Buutveld said the tests essentially reflected existing practice at about half of primary schools, while the remaining schools were probably moving toward similar systems.
Again, what a change of tune.
The reality is that the standards are a relatively modest initiative. They are not one uniform nationwide test. They are not some grade average where 50% must fail. They are simply a statement of the sort of literacy and numeracy tasks you expect a pupil to be able to perform at a certain age, if they are to be on track to leave primary school able to read, write and do basic maths.