Education Minister on official online league tables

Press Release – NZEI

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is calling on the new Education Minister to guarantee the Government’s decision to establish official league tables of secondary schools will not be extended to primary schools.1st February 2012

Disappointing comments from the Education Minister on official online league tables

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is calling on the new Education Minister to guarantee the Government’s decision to establish official league tables of secondary schools will not be extended to primary schools.

When then-Minister Anne Tolley introduced controversial National Standards into primary schools in 2010, she pledged that the Government would not publish league tables.

Following a visit to Australia, the new Minister Hekia Parata has said the government is considering establishing a new website to compare the performance of secondary schools and she is open to parents being able to rate the performance of schools and teachers.

“That’s a very different position and is disappointing given Anne Tolley’s earlier comments,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie. “International experience shows that league tables unfairly and inaccurately label children, schools and their communities and do nothing to improve student achievement. We would sincerely hope and want guarantees that there are no such plans to extend such a system to primary schools – certainly not one which is based on unreliable National Standards information”.

Secondary school NCEA results are nationally moderated and parents and schools have a clearer understanding of what they mean.

“The issue for primary schools is that National Standards aren’t moderated and there is huge variation in the way schools are implementing them. It would be a case of junk information in and junk information out. Officially publishing that information on a government-sponsored website would be misleading for parents and potentially damaging for school communities.”

“Schools want to be held accountable but that accountability cannot be based on a measure which is neither fair nor accurate, and is very narrowly focused.”

NZEI would welcome the opportunity to meet with Ms Parata to outline its concerns and seek guarantees that student achievement data based on National Standards will not end up on an official website aimed at comparing school performance.

ENDS

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