Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.
“Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the Ministry of Education to arbitrarily adjust student results from ‘below standard’ to ‘above standard’ to make their data add up.
“How can National Standards provide an accurate basis for measuring student achievement when the Ministry of Education is unilaterally scaling assessment results to produce the outcome it wants?
“Parents will question whether the data in any way reflects student achievement when the principal told to manipulate his school’s data has stated: ‘I feel sorry for all parents and communities who look at 2013 National Standards data and make assumptions about school performance based on manipulated data. And I am appalled at the thought that schools will be judged and ranked on such data’.
“The National Government seems intent on ensuring teachers spend increasingly more time filling in forms to comply with reporting requirements and less time actually teaching.
“There are also questions around whether National Standards are improving student achievement when an Education Ministry survey released last September found the achievements of about four out of every 10 students had been incorrectly measured.
“On top of this, only three out of every 20 teachers believe that National Standards are robust, and fewer than two out of every five believe they enable them to make reliable judgments of student performance.
“The survey found that 60 per cent of teachers and 70 per cent of principals believe National Standards have created more work for little gain. It also found half of all teachers say National Standards have narrowed the curriculum they teach.
“Surely these findings must make it obvious to Education Minister Hekia Parata that it is time to dump National Standards,” Chris Hipkins says.