National standards in my personal experience has been an exceedingly simple exercise which has involved the teachers of my kids either in an interview situation or through a number of school reports pointing out what’s been achieved in any given subject, where my kid sits within that achievement and where that achievement sits within the national standards criteria. I know where they are currently and where they are supposed to be by the end of the year. It has come in the form of shaded charts or graphs and it’s come in the form of numbers.
The only tricky part was when I initially saw them, I double guessed myself by thinking it can’t be this easy, I am sure I am reading something wrong here because all I’d heard was this was a mess, schools didn’t know what they were doing, schools didn’t like it, and it was impossible to collate the information. So I was ready for some whiteboard PowerPoint presentation that would leave me emotionally exhausted and mentally drained at its complexity, when in reality it turned out to be nothing of the sort.
Here’s the simple truth. Parents want and like to know where there kid is at. They like knowing something more specific than ‘they’re doing fine’ or ‘they’re settling in nicely’. National standards places them. It places them ahead, on or behind others around the country. And when you know that, you start to work out how much of that performance or lack of it is the child’s, is the teacher’s, or is the school’s. In other words, you know what’s what.
To be worried about that as those who have spent so much time scaring the bejesus out of us clearly are requires a mindset and view of the world I have trouble getting my head around.
Knowledge is power, neither is a bad thing.
I know many parents who have said much the same. They were frustrated that the reports they used to get were fairly vague on how their kids were doing. They love National Standards as it has allowed them greater knowledge of how their kids are doing in the three core areas, and allows them to work out if they need to be doing more.Tags: Mike Hosking, national standards