In the latest news from Planet Key, teachers are absolutely useless at “national standards”:
High error rate in National Standards marking
Almost 50 per cent of teachers are incorrectly marking National Standards writing assessments, according to a new report for the Ministry of Education. …
Overall, 49 per cent of teachers’ judgements on writing and 39 per cent on maths were inaccurate, based on the researchers’ findings.
“Given evidence from the assessment scenarios, and the magnitude of the changes observed, it is most likely the shifts in the data are attributable to teacher inconsistency,” Ward and Thomas wrote in their National Standards School Sample Monitoring and Evaluation Project 2011 report, which the ministry has recently published.
For example, a year 4 student’s character description of Fred Dagg was ‘above’ the National Standard, but only three per cent of teachers surveyed marked it as such. Ninety-seven per cent gave it the lower rating of ‘at’.
So 97% of teachers got an exercise wrong! 97% of teachers must be useless, right? Sack them all and bring on charter schools I say!
Yeah, sorry about that. Back on Planet Earth I would like to propose an alternative hypothesis. The standards are crap. When 97% of teachers get an exercise “wrong” they aren’t wrong at all, the exercise is. When almost half of teachers are routinely “wrong”, the teachers aren’t wrong at all, the system is.
All this is exactly as predicted in 2010 (pdf):
TWENTY FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS IN THE NATIONAL STANDARDS POLICY
W. B. Elley, May 2010
2. The Standards have been hastily prepared by committees, and untested for difficulty or intelligibility. They may well prove to be too hard, or too easy for the majority of children.
3. The wording of the Literacy Standards is vague and capable of many interpretations. They do not specify clearly how difficult the pupils’ tasks are to be, or how well pupils need to be able to perform, to pass the standard. Many are very similar from one year level to the next. …
Or see (pdf):
An overwhelming 94% of principals said they had serious professional concerns about the Standards and their implementation for the following reasons:
• tight timeframe for implementation (91%)
• issues with moderation/consistency (90%)
• lack of evidence or trial (89%)
• design flaws i.e. don’t match current norms (87%)…
The government’s own science advisor, Prof. John Hattie said: “The glossy, recently published New Zealand Literacy and Numeracy Standards have no data, no evidence and no evaluation…”. The warnings went on and on and on. And now, exactly as predicted, we’re seeing what a mess these “standards” are.
So heads up please you journalists who should know better. How can you possibly report a stupid statement like 97% of teachers being “wrong” without asking the deeper questions, and looking back at all the expert warnings? If there was a national standard for journalism, that’s a Fail.