When I went to my first parent/teacher interview I was amazed at the breadth of markers against which my daughter’s performance was being evaluated. I admired the commitment of the teacher to such a level of engagement. I felt fully aware and informed of my daughter’s strengths, and the areas we needed to work on. So when I read of National’s plans to introduce national testing I was agnostic to say the least. Now I see the NZ Principals Federation saying that the new Government’s bid to set national literacy and numeracy standards “totally unnecessary” and they want to work with the Ministry of Education to make sure no extra testing is put in place:
New Zealand Principals Federation president and Balclutha School principal Paddy Ford said schools already had testing tools to find under achieving pupils. Tests such as Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning (ASTLE) (progress and achievement tests), Running Records (reading test) and STAR (school reading test) were used extensively, he said.
“We don’t need any more tests. We’ve already got enough tests in place – we’ve just got to use the ones we’ve already got. The Government is trying to do something that’s totally unnecessary.”
This government was elected on a platform of reducing compliance and red tape. Surely we have an inconsistency here? Perhaps that’s why they passed this legislation without allowing time through the select committee process for groups and individuals to make their contribution – and highlight that the changes were really not required in the first place.
Meanwhile what scenario awaits parents with children due to start school next year? I fancy the idea of an opt out clause myself……