Ombudsman tells schools to release the data

August 8th, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Schools have been told to disregard the advice of a primary teachers’ union and instead release controversial performance information.

Chief Dame Beverley Wakem has written to all schools after some brushed off requests for the data with a pro-forma response provided by the New Zealand Educational Institute.

Dame Beverley said the advice NZEI had offered “conflicted” with that provided by the New Zealand School Trustees Association.

“In my view boards of trustees are entitled to rely on the advice conveyed by the NZSTA. However, boards that rely on the advice conveyed by the NZEI risk an adverse finding being made against them by an Ombudsman under the [law],” she said.

Schools that had acted, or were considering acting, “in accordance with the NZEI advice” should reconsider, she said.

Those that continued to refuse or extend release of information would face an investigation, which “may find that a board has acted unreasonably or contrary to the law”.

Schools are publicly funded and must obey the law around public entities – simple.

8 Responses to “Ombudsman tells schools to release the data”

  1. barry (1,233 comments) says:

    I heard the Minster on radio replying to criticism from the teachers union that the information was in all sorts of formats and that people would find some of the information hard to understand.

    She had a great reply. She said that the ministry will release the information just as the schools have put it forward. She said she was sure that the schools have put forward the informatuion in the best form they can and that they will be seen in the light of that information.

    In other words if the school boards have been fuckwits and have tried to mess the situation up by putting forward information in a difficult to understand form then they only have themslevs to blame if people think the school is no good – and no doubt that will lead to a falling roll and that leads to —— reduced teacher jobs at that school.

    OH shit – the teahers will have to perform better……..

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  2. alwyn (509 comments) says:

    I have been very pleased to see the reactions of the Labour and Green parties to the statement by the Ombudsman.
    Both of them called on the schools to provide the material. They said that, just as they had done in the past, everyone should do what the Obdudsman recommends. They routinely approached the Ombudsman when the Government did not release material they asked for under the OIA and then accused the Government of flouting the law if the Ombudsman supported their claims.
    The School Boards, and the school teachers involved must immediately release all the data the party spokesmen said.

    Then I woke up…..

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  3. BeaB (2,512 comments) says:

    Why are their data so shonky? Don’t they know what they are doing?
    The national tests they use (like ASTLE, PAT) are very easy to administer and mark so what is their problem?
    Perhaps they don’t want us to see how little they actually achieve in EIGHT years of taxpayer-funded schooling and would rather be left in peace to have pet days and kapahaka.
    Secrecy is usually a refuge for the incompetent or dishonest. Which are they?

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  4. Monique Watson (1,297 comments) says:

    They’re not releasing the Astle PAT or STAR results- those are already available.

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  5. Johnboy (20,823 comments) says:

    Not many comments so far. Is it a teachers day off today? 🙂

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  6. mpledger (429 comments) says:

    The Ministry didn’t say how they wanted the data formatted so each school presented it in a way that suited their school community.

    I complained to my daughter’s school that the way they represented it was in too fine a detail which meant children could be identified. It’s against the law for any agency to release personal information where people are identifiable. If the MoE doesn’t do any post-processing then they are going to be opening a big can of worms.

    The National Standards are a “holistic” measure, a teacher judgement, they are meant to be more than PAT or ASTLE results.

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  7. Paulus (3,565 comments) says:

    Any data that is shonky is the deliberate fault of the School Boards and the Teachers.
    And I thought that Teachers (who of course run the School Boards) were supposed to be clever –
    looks doubtful in many cases.
    How many parents know what PAT or ARSEHOLE actually are – Teacher Union speak I suppose.

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  8. Mark (1,611 comments) says:

    The problem stems with National Standards. Instead of having a standard testing system the Ministry has put in place a pick’n’mix solution where you can chose to use any one of a suite of testing methodoligies. The schools then adjust with teacher judgement. The laughable thing about this shambles is that the results of the testing are not moderated either by the ministry or independently.

    School A may use STAR, SChool B PAT and School C AsTle and the government wants to build league tables based on this.

    If you compare this to NCEA tables the system is moderated by NZQA.

    Whilst I personally think league tables are more about giving parents who send there kids to decile 9 and 10 school bragging rights than they are about improving the educational acheivement of kids at the low end of the charts, if we are going to run league tables first the Ministry needs to sort out the National Standards programme so that it is what it claims to be, a proper set standards that is consistently applied across the country and properly moderated.

    DFP is all for publishing shonky data on the basis that it is better than no data. I disagree if that data is expected to be relied upon by parents when chosing schools for their kids. What school boards and teachers are fighting is the publication of data that can be misleading and unfairly interpreted.

    Parata if she has been correctly reported in the Herald is saying she wants consistent formating of the data. She should instead focus on getting consistent data and fixing the shambles that Tolley foisted on the public

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