Wednesday, May 27, 2009

National Standards

A new government and "new" ideas. Yes, we have just seen the draft standards and to be honest, I think the team from the Ministry of Education has done a pretty good job. The standards are closely linked to what most of us already use and they have included material (in maths and writing) to clearly show what each Level means. A pretty good source of information for teachers.

My problem is however not with standards, it is with the collection of "data" from schools. We have come a long way in New Zealand to develop a cooperative model with schools sharing best practice and helping each other. I am pretty sure that most of my colleagues will fight back if any system is imposed that threatens that. If the government needs information to direct policy, we have the wonderful National Education Monitoring Project (NEMP) that provides a quality overview of how our students are doing. There is no need for collecting data on standards.

I will stay positive (for the moment) and trust that the government will keep their word. We will not go down the track of the UK and USA on this one!

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