Primary school education has been the focus of debate here in NZ with the introduction of ‘national standards’. Today we hear on RNZ that:
Four of the country’s top educational academics have condemned the Government’s national standards policy. In an open letter Education Minister Anne Tolley, four senior assessment academics say the brief time frame allowed for the development of the standards has resulted in fundamental flaws…
Personally I don’t understand what the rush is. Surely the education of young children deserves a little time investment. Do parents realise just how unpopular within the sector this election policy actually is?
Of course, if we want to see how badly education can go wrong try this article on how pre-school children are being tutored to get into kindergarten! From the NY Times:
Motivated by a recession putting private schools out of reach and concern about the state of regular public education, parents â€” some wealthy, some not â€” are signing up at companies like Bright Kids NYC. Bright Kids, which opened this spring in the financial district, has some 200 students receiving tutoring, most of them for the gifted exams, for up to $145 a session and 80 children on a waiting list for a weekend ‘boot camp’ program…
‘It’s the same phenomenon as with the SATs: a gradual rise in test prep, until it becomes the norm,’ said Emily Glickman, a Manhattan educational consultant. ‘Given that the demand for high-stakes schools outstrips supply, that’s what’s happening.’
I’m as keen as anyone on academic achievement, but it seems like there’s a slippery slope that you can start down without even realising it. What will the parents of the future be confronting?