By: Liz Wylie

Primary principals and teachers look forward to a fresh start this year using robust and well-regarded assessment tools, instead of “shonky” National Standards.

That is according to teachers’ union NZEI Te Riu Roa and a local primary principal agrees.

Whanganui Intermediate principal Charles Oliver said he was “thrilled” to see them go.

“They were never national or standardised,” he said. “But we now need to know what will replace them.

“We would like a useful, genuine assessment system that has credibility.”

The new government abolished the National Standards assessment system in December last year.

NZEI president Lynda Stuart said educators fought against National Standards because they did not help children succeed at learning, and caused undue stress for even very young children and their whānau.

“They did not foster a love of learning, they narrowed the curriculum, put undue pressure on children, increased teacher workload, and weren’t even an accurate measure of a child’s progress,” she said.

“With a focus on our world-leading curriculum, teachers will be free to teach and to engage children in the learning that really motivates them.

“This is the best and most accurate reflection of children’s progress and learning – that, and talking to the teacher.

The policy of National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics for primary-aged students was introduced by the National government in 2008.

The new government has also abolished Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori which was introduced by the previous government to measure progress in kōrero (oral language), pānui (reading), tuhituhi (writing) and pāngarau (mathematics) skills.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has said the government would develop a new system in consultation with teachers and principals.

National’s education spokesperson Nikki Kaye said the scrapping of National Standards showed a “disregard for parents”.

She has accused Mr Hipkins of making the decision in “an arrogant way”, without consulting with people “to make sure there’s something to replace it with”.

Mr Hipkins said teachers would still assess children’s achievement and parents would get better information about children’s progress.

Source: Wanganui Chronicle


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