Monday, November 08, 2010

Another political protest on National Standards

National Party supporter Peter McKeefry has a few kids at Clyde Quay school and has complained that his school has "boycotted" National Standards without consulting parents. If he looked at his school newsletters and attended the arranged meetings on National Standards - including one next week - he would have a better idea of what his schools position on National Standards, because as a parent he has been consulted. He just chose not to turn up. He has been given all the relevant information. Has he read it? Or is it easier to undertake a political posturing exercise by going to the media and sending OIA requests to the school to get information that is publicly available.

McKeefry is threatening to withhold donations to the school next year in protest at the boycott. Yet McKeefry knows the school has not boycotted National Standards because he reads his kids' school reports. While Clyde Quay School is reporting to parents on National Standards, it is considering whether to report their 2012 achievement targets to the Education Ministry. He said that his school was denying him his "legal right to know how my children are doing at school."

He's wrong - and he is unable to advise how his legal right has been denied.

It is debatable as to whether a school is breaking the law if it doesn't report concrete 2011 achievement targets to the ministry. While school charters have to give effect to education guidelines, including National Standards, it is less clear how that is to be done when teacher judgements are based on current assessments, but aligned to national standards.

As National Standards are like benchmarks, any charters sent to the Ministry of Education that report the standards will be a little like reporting on how a school is using a scaling system that tells students, parents and Boards of Trustees nothing extra about students' actual academic achievement.




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