Saturday, November 6, 2010

National standards disinformation

Rob Kidd reports in today’s Waikato Times:
The Government may be dismissing the 10 per cent of schools shunning national standards as a minority but Waikato principals say it is just the tip of the iceberg.
This week, about 30 Waikato school boards of 225 nationwide joined a coalition withdrawing co-operation over the controversial national standards, which were introduced by the Education Ministry at the start of the year.
As part of the protest, the schools said they would not send student achievement targets (due in February) to the ministry.
The rest of the story is here, but what is not online is the list in the print version of “Unhappy Schools: Waikato schools involved in possible withdrawal from national standards”. Included in that list of 30 schools is the one where my children go. (Fun fact: Cactus Kate used to go there too.)

I don’t know much about national standards but I do know this – the school newsletter that came home yesterday says:
Despite our huge concerns about National Standards [. . .] we are reporting your child’s achievement against these Standards in Literacy and Numeracy because we are legally obliged to do so.
 So Kidd cannot have spoken to the principal at our school, one of the 30 alleged to have joined the coalition. I can only assume that he got this disinformation from a NZEI press release and didn’t check with our school – I wonder if he checked with any of them. 

This makes a nonsense of “about 30 Waikato school boards” in the story’s second par – and how many other schools are like ours, listed erroneously to make it seem as though there is more “shunning” of national standards than there actually is?

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