Warning should be given with ERO reports on “Standards”

Press Release – NZEI

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says if the Education Review Office is going to publicly report on National Standards, it should provide a warning about the accuracy and integrity of the information.
3 November 2011
For Immediate Release

Warning should be given with ERO reports on “National Standards”

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says if the Education Review Office is going to publicly report on National Standards, it should provide a warning about the accuracy and integrity of the information.

Regardless of data accuracy, consistency or aggregation, ERO is publishing percentages and proportions of students achieving “at” or “above” National Standards as a topline learning result in its latest school reviews.

NZEI says those percentages are now being used in the media as a measure of a school’s success. (Read here)

“The danger is that ERO is putting information into the public arena which is fundamentally flawed and inevitably these bald figures will become the focus of media and parental attention,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie.

He says schools will be disappointed so see ERO reporting in this way because they know there is so much inconsistency in the way National Standards are being interpreted and implemented.

“Any student achievement information based on National Standards is completely unreliable and cannot give an accurate picture of where children’s learning is at. To see that information used in the media as a public indicator of a school’s success or failure, is disheartening and potentially very damaging”.

NZEI says ERO’s approach is also at odds with the Ministry of Education’s official position on assessment data in which the Secretary for Education states: “Aggregated information on its own does not indicate anything about the quality of teaching, the extent to which a school is making a difference for its students, or the extent to which it is supporting the learning for each and every student in the school. For this reason, comparisons between schools, solely on the basis of aggregated student information, are misleading.”

NZEI will be taking up this issue with ERO.

At the very least, we believe ERO should be providing a health warning to parents and communities about the fundamental problems with National Standards data if this information is to be used publicly,” says Mr Leckie.
ENDS

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