Sunday, October 19, 2008

National's Education Policy

Those of you who followed my blog during my sabbatical will realise the opposition I have developed to the US system of annual testing of students throught primary and intermediate years. Schools, Principals and teachers were entirely focused on preparing their kids for the tests each year (from age 7 up!) as they were judged on how their kids did.

USA was ranked 42nd in the International PISA tests while NZ was ranked in the top 5 so why are we planning to copy such a programme?

We have to oppose this at all costs. Weighing the pig does not make it any fatter!

NZ schools already regularly assess student progress to inform further strategies. There is no need to have a centrally imposed and driven programme which has the intention (according to their policy) of comparing students in one school with another.

This crock of shit is a populist strategy for which there is no credible research to support it.

You will have different important policy positions which determine your vote. For me, education is one of the most important issues and National's position on regular testing makes it impossible for me not to let as many people as possible know what they are up to.

The NZ education system is in good health. Young people are more literate and numerate as a group than any before. We do have a longish tail of under achievement which is largely ethnically centred and with programmes such as Te Kotahitanga and Ka Hikitia we are making inroads in this area.

If National are elected and push this policy through I will struggle to remain involved in education to my current level in New Zealand.

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