More testing won’t lift student achievement

Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“New Zealand school students are already amongst the most tested kids in the world. We don’t need more assessment to tell us who the kids are that are falling behind. What we need is more targeted support so that they can catch up.

“The National Government is obsessed with testing kids to the detriment of their learning. Our kids and teachers are spending so much time preparing for tests and assessments that they aren’t getting time to actually learn and teach.

“Rather than obsess about statistics, the Government should be focussed on ensuring every school student is engaged in meaningful learning that will lead them to a life of opportunities. As it stands now, kids can complete an NCEA Level 2 qualification – which is the Government’s target – and still find themselves unemployed at the end of it.

“The National Government’s education policies are driving the creativity and innovation out of our school system. We’re going to end up producing a nation of test-takers not risk-takers.

“It’s time to end the testing obsession and get back to focussing on a broad-based education that provides all of our young people with learning opportunities relevant to the world they will live in,” Chris Hipkins says.