National Standards

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)

Read more »

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:


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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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 »

Looks like this school could have done with proper National Standards earlier

Readers might remember a school called Dalefield School because its principal Kevin Jephson has featured in posts on the blog about National Standards. He was a very vocal opponent of them.

Regular readers will be aware of a nasty little Wairarapa principal called Kevin Jephson.

His style is to slag off the Government, National Standards and Anne Tolley to his local papers – which dutifully print every word, without wondering why he would be so critical.

Well, now we know.

Yet again, brave, plucky little Kevin is getting in the first blow against the big bad Government by going public with his school’s National Standards results – apparently instead of him and his teachers being responsible for poor standards at his school it is the government’s fault because they measured him and found him wanting.

But this usual smokescreen won’t hide the tragic facts for kids and parents at his school.

These results are shocking. That’s why the MoE wants to give them help.

Finally the Ministry of Education has acted and sacked the board which included Kevin JephsonRead more »

Starve the “not-normals” of oxygen

OK, so the teachers’ unions and their Labour/Green lapdogs have had their day in the sun.

It has to stop.

And let’s not forget the only tactic these scum have is to try and force the sacking or resignation of the education minister – so they can go on serving their own interests at the expense of kids.

They tried it with Tolley – and didn’t they just hate it when she refused to back down and won the battles of national standards, cuts to the bloated ECE sector, pay talks and hobby night classes.

Tolley’s rat cunning divided the unions and made them look selfish and unreasonable, while keeping parents onside.

Now the unions are back, all over the media pretending they are normal and pretending they care about education.

They are not normal. They don’t give a damn about parents or students.

They want to be in charge of the education sector. They think they have won.

They must be stopped.