It’s been a hectic few weeks since my last contribution; suffice to say that having cleared the e-phlegm from my e-sophagus: e-communication is once again e-possible!
Not surprisingly, the issue of national standards remains writ large on the horizon. A good link for people wishing to understand principals’ (and many boards’) concern regarding this ill-conceived concept is www.ourprincipals.co.nz Commissioned by the New Zealand Principals Federation, the content provides information for parents in straightforward language; the technical stuff is there too.
Meantime, Monday’s NZ Herald contained this - under the headline “Expert gives education system top marks”. That expert is Professor John Hattie…one of the proponents of national standards!
“Leading educationist Professor John Hattie has given a more glowing assessment of the education system than the Government often gives it.
He told the Labour Party conference in Auckland on Saturday that parents often underestimated where the New Zealand system stood internationally and thought it was about average when it was among the best in the world
“We are way up there at the top. Something is going right.”
Professor Hattie, an assessment specialist, has recently advised Prime Minister John Key and Education Minister Anne Tolley on the implementation of National’s contentious national standards policy in primary schools, which National says will lift standards.
Professor Hattie largely avoided the subject on Saturday though he said that average standards for reading, writing and maths over the past 50 years had not changed.
While that might not sound impressive, the system was already near the top of the world.
“Each year we reinvent the problem at the start of the year. So I think it is impressive that our system and our teachers are able to take our kids and get them up to that high international status every year.
“Changing the average of the whole nation is not easy and we need to be careful about asking for it because it’s not going to happen easily unless we identify the right problems, which in my opinion are those kids who are not performing up to their potential.”
…….so………………..where’s the logic in national standards???