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Confused national standards policy coming unravelled

Hekia Parata’s answers in Parliament today highlight once again how confused and botched the Government’s national standards programme is, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. 

“Bizarrely, Hekia Parata declared today that ‘National standards are not intended to have a positive impact on students’ - so what’s the point of them?

“She then went on to claim that no teacher is forced to tell any child that they are below standard, yet her own government has made it mandatory for schools to report those very results to parents. 

“A new report out today found that only 16 per cent of teachers believe the standards have a positive impact. Instead they express real concern that the standards are ‘soul destroying’ and that they have ‘led to a deterioration in the educational deal our children are receiving’. 

“National standards are neither national nor standard. There is no consistency between schools in the way they are applied, several research reports have raised serious questions about the validity of the results they produce, and parents, teachers and principals all have serious concerns about them. 

“National standards don’t measure progress, so kids who are doing well can still end up being labelled as failures. 

“Labour will ditch national standards and return the focus of kids and teachers to a broad curriculum that allows every child to discover and realise their full potential,” Chris Hipkins said.