National Standards Data

September 21st, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Hekia Parata has announced:

Education Minister Hekia Parata says data reported for the first time has set a baseline of Years 1-8 learner achievement.

The data shows that 76 per cent reached or exceeded the national standard for reading, 72 per cent of learners for mathematics, and 68 per cent for writing. 

“Of particular interest is the consistency of the achievement trends in writing, reading, mathematics by ethnicity and gender with other system ‘health check’ studies such as the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).

“So although we are only in the early stages it is exciting that this first set of data is consistent with other international and national information, and that a significant number of children are reaching or exceeding the National Standard in each of the three areas.

“I want to acknowledge and thank parents, teachers, principals, boards for all that they do that makes this possible.”

What this implies is that most schools are behaving responsibly and moderating consistently against the national standards. What will be great is we can now monitor over time what proportion of students are achieving the national standard for numeracy and literacy for their age.

The demographic breakdown for at or above the national standard for maths is:

  • Boys 72%
  • Girls 73%
  • Maori 63%
  • Pasifika 57%

For reading:

  • Boys 72%
  • Girls 80%
  • Maori 65%
  • Pasifika 58%

For writing:

  • Boys 61%
  • Girls 75%
  • Maori 58%
  • Pasifika 54%

The deficit between boys and girls when it comes to reading and writing remains concerning.

It would be interesting to have data on Asian students also.

That data on individual schools will be out next week. It will be interesting, but I won’t be reading too much into it. The trend information from schools is what I think will be more important. So long as the national standards do not get scrapped by a Labour/Green Government, we will very clearly see which schools are improving over time, and which ones are not.

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66 Responses to “National Standards Data”

  1. 2boyz (230 comments) says:

    Interesting enough, the Dompost is doing a survey on Natioanl Standards as we speak. Should be interesting to see what they come up with.

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  2. slightlyright (93 comments) says:

    I would be most interested in an anaysis indentifying poorly performing schools and the members of their staff and board members political connections / action over standards/education in general. It would not surprise me in the least if the so called oracles of education that make up the hypocritical left are the worst performers

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  3. Grant Michael McKenna (1,151 comments) says:

    Asian students? Why so broad a data group? Why not look by ethno-cultural group, eg Indian, Chinese, Israeli, etc?

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  4. E. Campbell (85 comments) says:

    The reading and writing gap between girls and boys is nothing new. Developmentally, girls come on in these skills earlier than their male counterparts. The gap persists through to high school until the senior-most years when it tends to disappear.

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  5. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,664 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t worry about boys’ reading ability relative to that of girls, David. We are talking about thirteen year olds, are we not? The boys catch up later on and go on to be competent engineers and doctors while the girls go on to be social workers and political advisers.

    Oh, and you can bet your boots the disparity between honkies, horis and cocos is 100% due to home environment and parental attitude.

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  6. CJPhoto (182 comments) says:

    Why only stats for Maori and Pacifica. Every group with a meaningful sample should be disclosed

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  7. YesWeDid (1,002 comments) says:

    ‘We are talking about thirteen year olds, are we not?’

    No the data is for years 1-8 so 5 to 13 year olds.

    Why only maths, reading and writing? What happened to the rich and varied education I want for my children?

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  8. mpledger (428 comments) says:

    The comparison against PIRLS must have been pretty cursory; PIRLS was only done in some schools, only in year 5 and not all classes in year 5 at a school that did it (I had an offspring in year 5 in the year it was done).

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  9. insider (990 comments) says:

    A case of pirls before swine?

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  10. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    YesWEDid – you are joking right?

    The maths, reading and writing are what gets people employeed / makes them employable. Look at the numbers of kids, as per the above figures, failing at these things. Very clear to see why the Gweens, Liebor and most teachers fought to the death against measuring this!

    The rich and varied part comes from books, parents and life experiences often mistaken today for playstations, childservices and the welfare state.

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  11. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    “we will very clearly see which schools are improving over time, and which ones are not.”

    We will? I was under the impression that the standards are subjectively applied on a local basis by each school with no independent moderation of the results.

    If that remains the case (especially with public reporting of the data to simplistically label schools as ‘good’ or ‘bad’) then I would expect the results to get better and better every year at every school. To believe otherwise is hopeless naive and betrays a complete lack of understanding about how people react to incentives…

    It confuses me the way that National have portrayed teachers as entirely self interested throughout this whole debate, yet claim to address this and introduce accountability by putting in place a system which is completely open to gaming and abuse by teachers that operate in a self interested manner.

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  12. DJP6-25 (1,228 comments) says:

    slightlyright 1:13 It wouldn’t surprise me either.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  13. Ross12 (926 comments) says:

    Slightly off topic but the UK are looking at major changes in the education system –guess whic way it is going ?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9548469/GCSEs-axed-in-favour-of-English-Baccalaureate-Certificate.html

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  14. James Stephenson (1,885 comments) says:

    completely open to gaming and abuse by teachers that operate in a self interested manner.

    Teachers and schools should be measured on the year-to-year improvement, so that any attempt to skew results higher on a given year just makes it harder to achieve an improvement over the 12 months.

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  15. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    I wonder how the results would look for Kapi Haka(or whatever its called} Maybe the Maori results in part reflect the training given at Kohanga Reo or where the accent is on traditional Maori.

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  16. b1gdaddynz (264 comments) says:

    Those are some pathetic results for our world leading education system! The best result still had 20% failing to meet the standard!

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  17. Jman (84 comments) says:

    The long term trend information may be of interest to a stats guy like you David, but I think most parents like myself are more interested in knowing how their school performs now.

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  18. Doc (85 comments) says:

    If you look a little closer at the report, it paints an even bleaker picture… Only 12-13% of Maori & Pasifika pupils are exceeding the National Standard in Maths or Writing.

    I understand that the primary driver for introducing this was to identify and quantify those who were ‘slipping through the cracks’ of our education system, and being left behind. But the ‘absence of excellence’ is just as worrying as the ‘failure to achieve’.

    It remains inconclusive, but does lend some weight to the suggestion that education is simply not valued, cherished, or celebrated by some demographics. If this proves to be true – then we cannot fix the problem in our schools…

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  19. trout (865 comments) says:

    There is an oft repeated slogan ‘ that Maori were beaten at school for speaking Te Reo’. The truth was that their parents demanded that their kids be taught to speak English so that they could make their way in the modern world. Maori parents are now being persuaded by Maori liberal elite (themselves educated) that exposing Maori kids to immersion in stone age culture is the path to a good life. Without good English skills Maori kids are condemned to a hopeless future (unless of course they are good at Rugby League).

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  20. mara (639 comments) says:

    If the bottom 20% should not finish in the bottom 20%, which pupils should be at the bottom? Perhaps we shpuld create a new exam for the bottom 20% to sit, that way only the bottom 20% of the bottom 20% would be bottom, reducing the bottom 20% to the bottom 4% .. brilliant!

    One snag, there would need to be a bottom 20% of the top 80%, i.e 16% of the total. Hopefully this new bottom 16% would be intelligent enough to realise they shouldn’t continue seeking an academic career.

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  21. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    Another reason why the pacific quota makes little sense. You’d think with the current educational underachievement by that group it would prompt a re-think on the quota, but I guess that would be too logical :)

    The Asian results would be as you expect from their results around the world.

    http://mason.gmu.edu/~gjonesb/Immigrant%20IQ

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  22. transmogrifier (518 comments) says:

    I love that new British plan – especially comments about the bite-sized modules allowing students to resit continuously to pass. I hate that about NCEA. The modules also discourage students from drawing connections between different topics, but instead rewards those who memorize specific facts and regurgitate them, before immediately forgetting them to concentrate on the next set of random “facts”…

    Good on them. NZ is going in the opposite direction, unfortunately.

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  23. mpledger (428 comments) says:

    James Stephenson (1,126) Says:
    Someone said:
    completely open to gaming and abuse by teachers that operate in a self interested manner.

    Teachers and schools should be measured on the year-to-year improvement, so that any attempt to skew results higher on a given year just makes it harder to achieve an improvement over the 12 months.
    ~~~~~~~~~

    The four point scale that kids are graded to, with 75% of kids getting the top two scores, makes getting a good estimate of the amount of improvement a school makes, let alone a teacher, is going to be really, really difficult. If a student is a bottom end 3 and moves to a top end 3 then no improvement is picked up but if the student is a top end 3 and becomes a bottom end 4 then improvement is picked up when there is really only a very small improvement.

    US schools use “value added analyis” and look what it did
    Atlanta School’s Cheating Scandal
    Teachers spent nights huddled in a back room, erasing wrong answers on students’ test sheets and filling in the correct bubbles. At another school, struggling students were seated next to higher-performing classmates so they could copy answers.

    Those and other confessions are contained in a new state report that reveals how far some Atlanta public schools went to raise test scores in the nation’s largest-ever cheating scandal. Investigators concluded that nearly half the city’s schools allowed the cheating to go unchecked for as long as a decade, beginning in 2001.

    Administrators – pressured to maintain high scores under the federal No Child Left Behind law – punished or fired those who reported anything amiss and created a culture of “fear, intimidation and retaliation,” according to the report released earlier this month, two years after officials noticed a suspicious spike in some scores.
    http://www.blackamericaweb.com/news/national-news/atlanta-schools-cheating-scandal

    ~~~~~~
    And it’s not just in Atlanta – in Washington (where the DoE weasled out of investigating properly), Chicargo, Texas, Florida….

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  24. transmogrifier (518 comments) says:

    YesWeDid:

    Maths, reading and writing are the first things students should master. It’s a sad fact that many of our primary schools aren’t producing an acceptable number of competent Year 9 students. All the other stuff at primary school can be for fun and intellectual engagement. Those three things are serious stuff.

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  25. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    @trout
    The statistics for the moari immersion education system are not included in this report the evaluation system For total immersion education is separate
    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/first-national-standards-data-sets-baseline-learner-achievement
    Māori Medium Education kura teaching Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and using Ngā Whanaketanga will report for the first time in 2013

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  26. kowtow (6,686 comments) says:

    Those figures are appalling. What are they doing in schools to be getting such shit results?

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  27. mpledger (428 comments) says:

    b1gdaddynz (102) Says:
    Those are some pathetic results for our world leading education system! The best result still had 20% failing to meet the standard!
    ~~~~~~~~~

    The standards, we were told, were supposed to be “aspirational” so getting an 80% pass rate is unbelievably good.

    Don’t forget this includes ESOL students and special needs students. Some of these kids are never going to get on target no matter who their teacher is.

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  28. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    @ mara and mpledger,

    I’m not sure the national standard are a trick test. It is a test or set of measures which is the same for all.
    Can you read “Green Eggs and Ham”?
    Can you add 2+2+2?
    Can you spell DPB?

    If everyone passes there is a 100% sucess rate. Therein lies the schools role. Very simple and specific which a lot of teachers hated. Holy crap – now I’m accountable and worse, they’ll be able to see who failing (whoops – sorry – “falling through the cracks”). God forbid telling someone they need more work at that to pass.

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  29. UpandComer (496 comments) says:

    I am incredibly pissed off by the ‘well rounded education’ bullshit.

    People can’t be effective at anything until they have the fundamentals, period. Your kid isn’t going to be good at squat if they can’t write and read. Have read some very interesting articles proving the fallacy of this bullshit. You have to grind away at these things for a while before education can really be enjoyed. Koreans know it, Chinese know it. They grind too much and for too long, but these basics are absolutely necessary and increasingly rare.

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  30. mpledger (428 comments) says:

    wtfunz (58) Says:
    @ mara and mpledger,

    I’m not sure the national standard are a trick test. It is a test or set of measures which is the same for all.
    Can you read “Green Eggs and Ham”?
    Can you add 2+2+2?
    Can you spell DPB?

    If everyone passes there is a 100% sucess rate. Therein lies the schools role. Very simple and specific which a lot of teachers hated. Holy crap – now I’m accountable and worse, they’ll be able to see who failing (whoops – sorry – “falling through the cracks”). God forbid telling someone they need more work at that to pass.
    ~~~~

    The tool/s used to judge whether a kid is at national standard is what ever the teacher and/or schools wants. Whether a kids meets the national standards is entirely up to the teacher.

    So do ratings between schools mean anything?

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  31. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    mpledger – god I hope you have misunderstood this concept rather than me.
    If this IS the case it is just more crap heaped on the existing crap. No – ratings between schools will mean nothing!

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  32. mpledger (428 comments) says:

    UpandComer (307) Says:
    I am incredibly pissed off by the ‘well rounded education’ bullshit.

    People can’t be effective at anything until they have the fundamentals, period. Your kid isn’t going to be good at squat if they can’t write and read. Have read some very interesting articles proving the fallacy of this bullshit. You have to grind away at these things for a while before education can really be enjoyed. Koreans know it, Chinese know it. They grind too much and for too long, but these basics are absolutely necessary and increasingly rare.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Since we can’t beat kids so they will “grind away at these things” then we have to provide an education that will make them want to learn. Spending all day, sitting at a desk, doing literacy and numeracy will bore the kids to tears. I would guess the gains from cross-subject learning would far outstrip the gains from “more of the same”.

    We, as a race, didn’t evolve to sit down at a desk all day. We evolved for movement – cutting PE, art and science – all the more active subjects, just ignores our nature. It’s especially hard on boys who tend to be more active learners i.e. learn things better through movement.

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  33. mpledger (428 comments) says:

    wtfunz (59) Says:
    mpledger – god I hope you have misunderstood this concept rather than me.

    If this IS the case it is just more crap heaped on the existing crap. No – ratings between schools will mean nothing!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Why do you think John Key said the data is “ropey”. A politician is always going to underplay how bad their policy is – so if the data is “ropey” then that’s code for “complete and utter bullshit”.

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  34. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    Mpledger,
    Follow the link below:-
    http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/National-Standards/Reading-and-writing-standards/The-standards/After-one-year

    Standards are very specific eg below is part of the Year 1 reading standard.

    “The reading standard

    After one year at school, students will read, respond to, and think critically about fiction and non-fiction texts at the green level of Ready to Read (the core instructional series that supports reading in The New Zealand Curriculum).”

    I think what you are referring to was each schools right to set their own goals for number of passes. If at a school only 30% currently meet this level it is illogical to set this years target at 100%. Clearly this was to placate the whingers and hand wringers. These start levels and goals will now be set after the first result are in.

    As I said. A very simple measure of ability for all schools across the 3 subjects. I will almost guarantee you the ERO (education rview office) will test for any “cheating” by schools or teachers via their review process.

    You did have me worried there for a while though. Have a good weekend. :) :).

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  35. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    “Why only stats for Maori and Pacifica”. Because NZ is a racist country heading towards a racist constitution of course.

    I’d love to ask Hekia how they fix the results of the international comparisons which show NZ holding its own education wise.

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  36. mara (639 comments) says:

    Year after year after year we are confronted by stats, delivered at great taxpayer expense, that prove the inability of certain immigrants to become useful, socially or economically. I drive through Mt Roskill/Blockhouse Bay every week and see Somali qut users falling over in the street, young girls wearing veils coming home from school and burqua’d women in the local supermarket. And they are not pacific islanders. Multi problem perhaps??

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  37. kowtow (6,686 comments) says:

    .”….sitting at a desk doing literacy and numeracy will bore kids….”

    no we can’t have bored kids ,better to have ‘em illiterate and unemployable and eventually in gaol.

    Seriously, how was it not a problem to sit in rows ,facing the front etc until the f@cken late ’60′s?

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  38. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Well, it’s lovely that National have got their statistics to touch themselves over. It all means nothing of course. Total rubbish, given each individual schools’ discretion in judging who is ‘at standard’.The reading and writing gap will increase for boys as the union commies drop off and more Eager Young Things get out of Teacher Skool and do the worst thing possible, which is lecture at boys. And really, who gives two hoots about a writing standard. Girls write, boys make guns. it is important to keep a tab on maths and reading but writing could go by the wayside.
    All the standards will do is turn out more girly boys, the kind that kept Helen Clark in power for so long; PC Nation.
    I would say I’m quite right wing, but I would also have to say you’re on a hiding to nowhere with National Standards. It’s was unsuccessful in America in the guise of No sock’s Child Left Behind. That’s not to say some other American initiatives aren’t fantastic. Charter Schools are well ensconced and I have met a number of attendees who have thrived in an alternative education environment.
    In the San Francisco Bay Area, you have inner city schools who bleed kids to the private schools, in no small part because of the testing and standardised regime. So the public skools get left with the children of DF’s and perform worse and lose funds relative to the better performing schools, such as the one my sons attend. So poor people in the cities are subjected to an endless round of testing and being lectured at.
    n 2012, President Obama granted waivers from NCLB requirements to several states. “In exchange for that flexibility, those states ‘have agreed to raise standards, improve accountability, and undertake essential reforms to improve teacher effectiveness,’ the White House said in a statement.”[102]
    The following is a list of state exemptions from the US National Standards regime:
    February 9, 2012 – Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee
    February 15, 2012 – New Mexico
    May 29, 2012 – Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island
    June 29, 2012 – Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia
    July 6, 2012 – Washington and Wisconsin
    Failed education policy.

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  39. jims_whare (389 comments) says:

    Did you read the press statement put out today in response to the release of the National Standards Data?

    Press Statement as follows:

    The Maori King Te Arikinui Kiingi Tuheitia today called for an urgent National Hui to address the large number of Maori school children who are failing to achieve the National Standards in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.

    The King has pledged 40% of his own iwi’s financial resources to set up specific programs to address the academic disparity.

    He has also called upon iwi leaders around Aotearoa to pledge similar financial resources to an educational achievement trust the King has set up.

    25 of the richest Iwi have responded by pledging the equivalent of 95 millions dollars towards the goal of lifting Maori school childrens’ academic achievement to be comparable with the National Average within 3 years.

    The King has also stated that similar goals should be set for reducing Maori child abuse and crime rates.

    He stated,” It is time that we as a Maori people stand strong and throw off the shackles of welfarism which has enslaved us for several generations. It is now that we should stop looking to grievances from the past and encourage our children to look forward to the future and to equip them with the ability to reach their potential.
    We must nurture and protect our children and teach them to be successful citizens and to carry their mana in this country and when they travel to other countries around the world.”

    ENDS

    Oh wait……thats right this never happened.

    Unfortunately the King is too busy grasping for $$$ by claiming ownership of water, the wind, the sun/moon/stars to worry about such trivia.

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  40. Reid (15,505 comments) says:

    It’s was unsuccessful in America in the guise of No sock’s Child Left Behind.

    You mean the “No child left with a mind” policy Monique. We’re way ahead of you in that, back here :)

    Seriously, education lost its way when it determined that children felt bad about failing so let’s lower the standards.

    Rather than let’s keep the standards and explain to the kids that everyone has talent somewhere and it’s not always in math, but you still have to pass math even if you only get 50% and we’ll do whatever it takes to help you get that plus we’ll help you find what you are good at and we’ll help you excel at that and feel proud, while some other kids excel at math and also feel proud.

    But no. They didn’t do that, did they.

    Consequently every single syllabus is dumbed down, dumbed down, dumbed down even more, just so the kids who aren’t good at it don’t feel bad. Because apparently, that’s the worst thing in the whole world. Never mind that well balanced intelligent parents could put it into perspective for their child but we can’t rely on that, these days, can we.

    So many bad parents, you see. And it’s not the bad parent’s fault, it’s the exclusive fault of the bad unseen meanies who oppwess them and keep them down so they have no choice but to blank out their wretched hopelessness with recreational pass-times like drugs and computer games. And isn’t that sad.

    It’d be OK if the lefties who instigated this and have promoted it since the 60′s at the same time went out into society and started heaps of local and global corporations that did nothing but employ people with skills in basket-weaving and athletics and guitar playing but apparently they let the side down, they haven’t done that yet.

    And so the cycle continues. Seriously, that’s what happens.

    Business requires, not optional, well educated people. The people in the educational sector don’t provide that in the mistaken belief they’re like some social arbiter of what’s correct and what’s not and ne’er the twain shall meet. The only thing that prevents a total collapse are those parents who recognise the educator’s fallacy and take steps to counter it.

    A note to educators. I know and thank and appreciate many are completely opposite to the above. My above is directed not at you, but to those who are. My issue is, the people who are like that, appear to be growing, while you sensible rational ones, are shrinking.

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  41. KH (686 comments) says:

    If for everybody it’s 72% for math, but for Maori it’s only 63% then for Honky it’s got to be 75% -maybe more.
    63% to say 78% is a huge difference.
    Time for Iwi plow in some settlement money I reckon.
    I keep hearing that is what it is for.

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  42. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    J_w :)

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  43. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Kevin you can not say that its racist you have to have a special non racist education system that reflect moari goals and aspirations
    snigger
    I was thinking the same thing the percent of Maori that make up the statistic everyone is around 20% add pi and its 30%. were does that place the rest?

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  44. mara (639 comments) says:

    Reid is right. No argument. I’m too old and sensible to debate this nonsense.

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  45. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    So long as the national standards do not get scrapped by a Labour/Green Government, we will very clearly see which schools are improving over time, and which ones are not.

    Or, to put it another way: so long as the schools don’t make the most of the opportunities to game the “national standards” offered by the facts that they’re neither national nor standard, we will very clearly see… er… well, yeah – which schools have an intake that doesn’t include poor kids and which have an intake that does.

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  46. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Except that how do you define “poor”. So called “poor”families hac more of the country’s resourced poured into them than many middle income families.

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  47. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    now that is funny a lefty says the teachers will game the standards well we now that because teachers are leftys so it goes with out saying that they will be dishonest If you read the press realise it comments that the results correlate closely to international performance figures for New Zealand. If the gaming became universal it would show. As to schools in poor areas the lift in performance at low decile schools is the measurement you would look for if you were low decile and give a fuck garbage in average out is better than garbage in garbage out or even average in average out

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  48. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    Ha ha ha LOL Jim_Whare! Excellent :) :)

    Well said Griff – at least we are now doing something rather than nothing.

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  49. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I can’t understand how the data will improve student achievement. Surely it is after the fact.

    I also remember John Key saying the data was “ropey”. What does he mean?

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  50. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    @ Monique Watson,

    1. Isn’t the reason the inner city schools “bleed kids to the private school” because of the problems caused by the inner city students? See the essay on teaching them.

    http://americangoy.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/chicago-teachers-union-causes-of-strike.html

    2. The problem with NCLB is that it overlooks neurodiversity – not all students will reach the standards. And the pressure in the US particularly to get certain groups up to standard resulted in cheating.

    “ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – A former fifth-grade teacher implicated in a cheating scandal reportedly gave students the illegal assistance because she thought they were “dumb as hell.”

    http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2012/08/28/school-teacher-helps-students-cheat-because-she-says-theyre-dumb-as-hell/

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  51. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I wonder what % the Minister would rate her own performance at?

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  52. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I’d suggest this says more about teacher interest in the tests than the children tested. If they set a rigorous bench-mark for clarity of results and then paid teachers a sum of say $15.00 per child tested the results would suddenly spike.
    My boy was given an unlined piece of paper and told ‘Just write something’. Then was assessed. His result was low. This is a home-schooled kid who taught himself to read prior to attending school.
    If he’d been asked to list what he needs to survive in the desert or the parts of a helicopter, it would have been a different story.
    He’s six.
    How many low results have emerged in low decile schools because teacher and school investment in the ‘testing’ process is – to put it mildly – lacking motivation?
    And how many high results have emerged from higher schools due to teacher engagement, and the desire to show they are ‘working’?

    Simply I don’t trust this – it implies that there is a ‘National standard’ when clearly there isn’t , nor will there ever be, ‘the standard’ referred to is a mythical ‘wish-fulfillment’ idea which every one in the room will have a separate idea about. Political dynamite sure like the ‘war on terror’ -since when could you declare war on a noun? You can’t any more than you can build policy around another noun.

    So to publish results about something that doesn’t exist is misleading even to claim you can politically define a ‘standard’ is at best disingenuous, at worse, snake-oil for the gullible.

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  53. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    I knew some people who took their boys out of the local Decile 9 primary school and moved them to the private boys school my son was at (this was five years ago). They used to spend months working on “wearable” art projects. Somehow this was interpreted as part of the math curriculum, science and a few others as well. Boys on the whole hated it and were behind in math, reading and science. They went to a school that pushed boy’s learning and all jumped in achievement, and had lots of fun.

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  54. Bogusnews (425 comments) says:

    Teachers will also be fighting for another reason.

    In the 80′s boys made up the largest proportion of achievers in Maths and Science, girls tended to dominate the arts and linguistics. During this time maths and science were rewritten to make them “more interesting for girls.” In addition, the feminazi’s learned that girls do better in non competitive environments, so all competition was ruthlessly removed (a big part of the reason why NCEA was designed the way it was.)

    I can absolutely understand why the educationalists have fought so hard to keep a lid on this.

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  55. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    now that is funny a lefty says the teachers will game the standards well we now that because teachers are leftys so it goes with out saying that they will be dishonest If you read the press realise it comments that the results correlate closely to international performance figures for New Zealand.

    If that sentence was written by a product of the New Zealand education system, perhaps we do have a serious problem of people leaving school unable to write. And if you imagine people won’t game a system that both involves income and prestige, and is wide open to being gamed, you must have a terrible problem with people selling you bridges and stuff.

    I knew some people who took their boys out of the local Decile 9 primary school and moved them to the private boys school my son was at (this was five years ago).

    Everyone’s got an anecdote. So what? I knew some people who took their kids out of the public school I was at and sent them to private boarding school, and they remained obnoxious thickos, with the main difference being that they came back trained to pass a particular couple of exams and bearing an unwarranted sense of self-importance. I found it interesting but it says nothing whatsoever about the relative merits of the schools.

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  56. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    The relevance is that at primary school age boys do learn differently and get excited by different things to girls. If primary education is geared more to how girls learn, of course boys will fall behind.

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  57. big bruv (12,322 comments) says:

    “with the main difference being that they came back trained to pass a particular couple of exams”

    Shock and horror!

    You mean these kids did well?….we cannot have that now can we. Much better to produce kids who know all about peace studies and kids who are taught how to protest than kids who are proficent in Math and English.

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  58. Mark (1,301 comments) says:

    Here is what national standards throws up. In my daughters year 7 class is a kid where English is not his first language and it is not spoken at home. The kid is well below the national standards so shows up in the school statistics as a failure. He might never reach the national standards in reading and writing but is making good progress. But this kid is fluent in three languages and can switch between them with amazing agility so is he failing as the data would have us believe. I think not

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  59. my 2 cents (1,091 comments) says:

    Either there is a standard that is measurable and we can expect from 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17 year olds in Maths, English written, read and spoken or there isn’t.

    I don’t see the problem, It is simple, the child meets the standard or doesn’t.

    The rest is politics or shit.

    At the end of the day, the children are at an acceptable standard or not, their other education is helped or hindered by the core standards they are at.

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  60. Paulus (2,291 comments) says:

    On the front page of the Herald this morning is a young pupil shown writing – but I wish somebody would show her how to hold a pencil properly, which could well help her.

    On the next page shows why teachers hate anything not in their control – this school principal bitching looks bloody frightening to me. Glad none of my teachers looked like that.

    I also still maintain that if a child cannot speak properly then they can neither read or write coherently.
    This could be a large part of the problem.

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  61. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    You mean these kids did well?….we cannot have that now can we. Much better to produce kids who know all about peace studies and kids who are taught how to protest than kids who are proficent in Math and English.

    Sigh. The point was that somebody’s anecdote says nothing about the system in general. In this case, the stereotype of private school kids being trained to pass particular exams rather than educated is no more accurate than the stereotype of public school kids learning “peace studies” rather than maths and English. Also: someone proficient in English would know how to spell proficient, and that maths has a lower-case m, and that outside the USA it has an s on the end.

    I also still maintain that if a child cannot speak properly then they can neither read or write coherently.
    This could be a large part of the problem.

    Yes. Our education system has to deal with a large number of people who aren’t fluent even in one language – it’s definitely a problem.

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  62. KevinH (1,128 comments) says:

    “The deficit between boys and girls when it comes to reading and writing remains concerning.”

    That comment is not surprising considering that girls are much better communicators than boys and in a nation obsessed with sport and outdoor activity it is no surprise that boys are lagging behind girls in reading and writing which are not favourite activities for boys.
    Boys do develope communication skills later in life through work/life experience but will never achieve the same levels that girls enjoy, so it is not necesary to dwell to much on that data.
    More worringly Maori and Pacifica students are just not responding to the curriculum, cultural and socioeconomic influences aside, the problems there are structural and endemic and have been ongoing for generations. More resources will have to be targeted at this group to lift achievement.

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  63. Mark (1,301 comments) says:

    Since national has got into office it has set itself against the teaching profession. It seems to me that successive ministers Tolley and Parata have failed at any point to listen to the educators point of view and adopted a my way or the highway attitude. Parata has failed miserably in the class size issue and has clearly not done her homework on Christchurch resulting in further back downs. At what point does this minister sit down and enter into some meaningful dialogue with the teaching profession.

    This whole national standards programme has been a shambles from its inception and apologists for national constantly trying to persuade us that poor data is better than no data.

    National standard could be a very good tool but it has to be done properly. Hopefully national will get of its ideological high horse and fix this system so that there is reliable and properly moderated data available.

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  64. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Crazy fish cum: As you insist on teaching us all English why don’t you fuck of somewhere else this is a debate not english grammar, spelling and punctuation.

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  65. MH (558 comments) says:

    Again none is recognising that over 80% of teachers are girlies,and no matter how good a teacher they are they cannot get the rapport needed for boys esp in low decile schools where boys never see a male let alone a European male teacher virtually right thru to secondary. until that stat is recognised and recruiting pay conditions and the gay non touching bullshit is put away then all this rubbish about boys will never be addressed or sorted. Very fews girlies know how to pack down a decent scrum or know one rule of Rugby Union Rules which should be the bible in most schools,it teachers discipline,teamwork and fairness,no wonder half the unruly behaviour on the sideline eminates from polynesian idiots whose only books in their house are a betting book and how far behind the Housing Corp rentbook they are.
    Even when the answer is right in your faces you lot deliberately ignore it. How stupid is that? That is liberal ignorance.
    Stop calling them teachers – they are WOMEN TEACHERS.

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  66. vel (1 comment) says:

    @ trout – this is a long time after this blog but your comment baffled me and I still can’t figure out if you are for national standards or against?

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