National Standards

Why are Maori doing so well in Partnership schools compared to the National Average?

Image- NZ Herald

Official targets for Maori primary pupils are likely to be missed by as much as 20 per cent in some cases.

The Ministry of Education has published its four-year plan, including five indicators that it says provide a “litmus test” of its progress in lifting student achievement.

At the primary school level, the official target is to have 85 per cent of Maori students at or above the national standard in reading, writing and mathematics next year.

The most recent Maori results available from 2014 show that will be missed by a considerable margin.

-A Newspaper

The National government set a very ambitious target for improving Maori achievement. While they are no where near  achieving their goal of 85% in traditional state schools some Partnership schools are making significant progress. The Partnership schools of course are an Act Party initiative so it is Act that Maori can thank for the improvement. The Maori Party and the Maori community in fact are very supportive of Act’s initiative which is no surprise given the results.

Just look at the difference when you view Vanguard Military School’s results.

Read more »

Andrew Dickens refuses to follow the NZME party line: parents are to blame

Andrew Dickens recognises bullshit when he sees it and he’s recognised that it isn’t the government’s fault there have only been moderate increases in results from National Standards.

He’s even called out the union shills like Kirsty Johnson. He has gone up considerably in my opinion, admittedly from a rather low base.

Having pulled the housing issue apart over the past weeks my colleagues at NZME have now turned their attention to education.

The headlines all yesterday morning was that a quarter of our children starting secondary school are below the National Standards introduced by National in 2008.

This despite an investment of $250m extra by the Government to lift literacy and numeracy.

Cue Talkback. Teachers are all Marxists. NCEA is crap. Nobody rote learns any more. All anyone cares about is participation not success and winning. It’s PC gone mad. Kids can’t climb trees and it’s all social engineering. Blah blah blah blah.

There’s an awful lot of smoke and mirrors here.

Yes an extra quarter billion has been invested. But remember our population has swelled by 500,000 people in the last decade so that money was needed just to keep pace. When politicians say they’re spending more on health and education remember that they have to because there are more of us.

They’re playing politics. That’s because they’re politicians.

As an aside when was the last new hospital built in this country, which, by the way, is 20 per cent bigger than 10 years ago?

So the figure says we’ve flatlined. In other words the problems we have in education are exactly the same as the problems we’ve always had. We’re no better or worse than we’ve ever been.

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Hipkins’ newest policy: Ban IES

"How many houses does your Dad have? What! None? I've got 3, what is he, a loser?"

Don’t worry kid, once I’m in charge, you won’t have to worry about standards

Labour’s brilliant education policy on banning all change and progression in education continues:

  • Ban National Standards
  • Ban Charter Schools (which he refuses to even visit)
  • Ban IES (Investing in Educational Success)

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Mike Hosking on National Standards

Mike Hosking discusses National Standards in his editorial.

I guess I have been lucky. National standards have been a non-event for me, well as a parent anyway. National standards though as a broadcaster have been a hotly debated, contentious concept that according to a report out from the Ministry of Education this week is wrong quite a bit of the time.

The teachers’ unions hate them, the claims over national standards from the unions have been many fold and none of it good. The detail is vague, it can be misinterpreted, teachers don’t like them, some schools held out against them, it leads to parents making comparisons with other schools which means that makes the education system competitive.

If all I knew about national standards was what I had heard on the radio and I had no kids and no teachers to talk to, I’d have come to the conclusion they were a risky, problematic concept riddled with issues that were leading the nation’s kids and schools down a slippery old slope. It is perhaps a good lesson as to why there is often more than one side to most stories.  Read more »

Are you smarter than an 8th grader… from 1912?

With the increasing interest in our Daily Trivia posts, as well as the ongoing debate about National Standards, I thought you might find this interesting:

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This eighth-grade exam for Bullitt County Schools in Kentucky covers subjects from geography to arithmetic to physiology and could make you think twice about how far education has “advanced.”

Some questions are specific to Bullitt County but also make the reader wonder if they can “name five county officers” in their region.

Other aspects of the test are antique but interesting. What is a “pennyweight” anyway? The measurement is precisely 1.55517384 grams, but the term derives from the weight of an English penny during the time of King Henry III.

The test asks, “Which president (singular) was impeached?” Until 1912, only one U.S. president had been tried in front of Congress: Andrew Johnson in 1868. Bill Clinton would be the second president to be impeached, but 86 years after this exam was written.

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There’s a surprise, schools are failing

There is an old saying in business…”what gets measured, gets done”. This is why you give sales reps targets, have KPIs and keep accounts.

In teaching until recently there was no such thing. National introduced national standards and the teacher unions fought and are still fighting against them. They don’t want to be measured, because in measuring them they will be found wanting…and they have.

Wellington and Hawke’s Bay primary and secondary school pupils are lagging behind government targets, but they are not alone.

Nationwide, none of the targets for national standards, NCEA for school leavers, or early childhood education participation is being met.

For the first time, parents can now see a regional breakdown for achievement throughout a child’s schooling.

The Government has set four targets for the sector, but nationally they are missing the mark – in the case of primary school writing standards, the gap is 15 per cent.   Read more »

Comment of the Day

Yesterday I blogged about the teacher unions suggesting they will boycott the suggested technical solution to standardisation of national standards.

Firstly they opposed national standards on the basis that they would vary and not be standard. Once the government announced a method of standardisation they now say they will oppose that too.

Agent Ballsack makes a very sharp comment on that state of affairs.

Parents get prosecuted if they don’t send their kids to school to learn, what happens to teachers who refuse to teach according to the standards set out by the Government?    Read more »

National Standards Confusion

So Chris Hipkins now says Labour would “dump” National Standards in education.

That’s not what his boss was saying less than a year ago.

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Hipkins at odds with his own leader

This morning in the NZ Herald, former PPTA spin doctor and now embedded journalist Kate Shuttleworth (Why did you remove your former job from LinkedIn?) writes about Labour’s Chris Hipkins and his declaration that Labour will scrap National Standards.

A change of government next election would see National Standards scrapped.

Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins said the Labour Party would scrap National Standards in their current form.

“National Standards are no use basically; they’re not consistent, they’re not providing reliable, accurate data and they don’t have an educational purpose.”

Education Review Office reports would give schools a picture of how well schools are doing, and Labour would strengthen that information, he said.

“We think parents deserve quality information about how their kids are doing.”

Hmmm…did Chris Hipkins check with David Shearer before he said that?   Read more »

This will hurt NZEI – good!

For years the NZEI and the other Labour/Green muppets in the Principals’ Federation warned that the introduction of National Standards would be a disaster for kids.

What they really meant was that they would be a disaster for crap teachers, who would now be found out for the charlatans they are.

Anne Tolley ignored them all and went right ahead.

So did the disaster materialise? It appears not, according to results released today.

The 2012 national aggregate data shows:

  • Reported achievement against the National Standard for reading increased by 1.2 per cent from 76.2 per cent in 2011 to 77.4 per cent in 2012.  Read more »