Decile ratings on ERO reports

August 21st, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

John Hartevelt at Stuff reports:

The decile rating of schools has been scrapped from Education Review Office reports.

ERO chief review officer Dr Graham Stoop made the surprise announcement yesterday in an effort to “correct the stereotype that a school’s decile equals performance”.

I’ve got no problem with this. The decile rating is still public information for parents who want it – but it is not part of an ERO report as it is not a factor in school quality.

Teacher union the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) said clear information about the social and economic context of schools should be published in place of the decile ratings, which were “crude”.

It suggested including data on student transience, the number of children with special needs or English as a second language and the number of children attending breakfast clubs.

Excellent. As I often say the answer to bad data is good data. Don’t ban or suppress data, but focus on presenting the most meaningful data.

ERO on National Standards

November 18th, 2010 at 5:25 am by David Farrar

The Education Review Office reports on how implementation is going:

  • Of the 80 schools reviewed, 93 percent (74 schools) were either well prepared or had preparation under way to work with the National Standards.
  • This data shows an increase in the percentage of schools that were well prepared to work with the National Standards, up from 19 percent (as reported in August 2010), to 34 percent. The data also showed a decrease in the percentage of schools not yet prepared to work with the standards, from 20 percent in August 2010 to 7 percent.

So most schools are indeed getting on with it. I found this quote interesting:

Strong, professional leadership in the well prepared schools meant that leaders and teachers were positive about working with the National Standards as part of their schoolo curriculum and assessment practices. …

Many of these schools had developed a school culture that was conducive to working with the National Standards. Teachers were encouraged to engage in discussion about student achievement data, inquire into and reflect on their practice and share effective teaching strategies. Such a culture helped teachers to make overall teacher judgements and moderate their judgements about student achievement.

Strong professional leadership sounds good to me.

ERO on reading/writing in Years 1 and 2

December 16th, 2009 at 2:50 pm by David Farrar

Maybe it is clearer why the unions are so against implementing the national standards in literacy and numeracy. I recommend people read the ERO report out today. Some extracts:

In contrast, the remaining 30 percent of teachers had little or no sense of how critical it was for children to develop confidence and independence in early reading and writing. These teachers had minimal understanding of effective reading and writing teaching, set inappropriately low expectations and did not seek opportunities to extend their own confidence in using a wider range of teaching practices. In these classrooms learning opportunities to motivate, engage or extend children were limited.

30% is a minority, but it is a significant minority of teachers.

Although many classroom teachers used assessment information well, school leaders were less clear about how they should use data to set and monitor appropriate reading and writing achievement expectations for children in Years 1 and 2. It is of concern that only about a quarter of school leaders set expectations that strongly promoted high levels of reading and writing achievement for children in their first two years. Furthermore, in nearly two-thirds of schools, leaders used limited or poor processes to monitor the progress and achievement of these young children.

And now this is a majority, not a minority.

The NZ education system performs well on average. But the 20% it does not serve well, are amongst the worst in the OECD.