Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Principals get together to campaign against National Standards

The Principals Federation campaign on National Standards is now starting to see light of day. They have a website paid for by New Zealand primary and intermediate school principals out of their own pockets to help parents understand the dangers and limitations of National Standards and why the system won’t deliver what was promised.

During the weekend New Zealand Principals’ Federation President Ernie Buutveld posted Why parents should be worried. Why the system won’t deliver.
The way the National Standards system has been designed, there is a range of different answers a teacher can give about whether a child is ‘at’, ‘working towards’ or ‘above’ the standard. The Standards have room for different interpretations thus making them subjective. One teacher’s ‘at the standard’ is another’s ‘working towards’, and so on.

Because the National Standards are interpreted differently in every school, they won’t give parents an accurate picture about how their school is doing, when compared with others.
.In its simplest terms the National Standards are not ‘national’ standards at all. Rather, they are subjective and individual benchmarks for where a specific child is placed, at a specific school, based upon a specific teacher’s professional judgment of that child, determined after the teacher has used his or her own personal selection of available assessments and indicators.

In addition, the extra money being promised in National Standards is not targeted to the kids who need it most.




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