Remarkable that an economist doesn’t believe in measuring progress

Economist Gareth Morgan’s political party has school testing in its sights, pledging to tackle New Zealand’s “obsession with ranking our children” by slashing the use of National Standards and the NCEA system.

Morgan’s The Opportunities Party has also pledged to introduce free, universal full-time early childhood education (ECE) in its newly released education policy.

While New Zealand had performed well in international education surveys, Morgan said the country had started to fall behind in recent years.

Oooooooooooh. Taking on the education unions.  Good luck with that.

So, “the country had started to fall behind in recent years”.  How do we know this?  By measuring progress.  

While it was natural for parents and politicians to want to hold teachers and students to account through testing, Morgan said “the evidence shows we are using up way too much precious learning time assessing our children.

“We are obsessed with assessing and ranking our children when test results can only show part of a child’s development.

“Our obsession with ranking all our children takes up time and resource, and is counterproductive to helping them all find their strengths.”

Assessment scores were a questionable method to measure student learning and a “downright awful” indicator of school performance, Morgan said.

His party would delay national standards until Year 6, instead of Year 1 as at present.

It would also slash NCEA testing for high school students, giving those in their final year of school the choice of sitting NCEA Level 1, 2 or 3.

“The extra time would be spent on learning and developing individual learning plans to ensure that students have the qualifications and skills they will need.”

Morgan said the party would also scrap the publishing of national standards and NCEA results, “unless they can be translated into true ‘added value’ results”.

There is no “obsession to rank all our children”.  There is on the other hand a very sensible move to regularly check where they are at so that, for example, if they need remedial reading, it doesn’t take a whole year to pick up on it.

I already knew Morgan to be a political retard, but now that he’s not even wanting to measure where children are at because it gets in the way of learning… as an economist, that’s just total rubbish.

That would be saying we need to do away with measuring unemployment and putting the money that is wasted on that into making more jobs.  We should stop measuring what kind of illnesses people get and die from, and put that money into health.

As an economist, Morgan damn well knows that you have to measure things before you can manage them.  If you hadn’t been convinced that he is a total loon yet, this certainly will have brought you across the line.


– Stuff


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.