It seems like only yesterday that we listened to arguments about how exams unfairly punished some students. The National Party initiated the NCEA in office, but now thinks that introducing a national standard testing system for five and six year olds is the way to go.
At least we think they do. At the time the policy was incredibly light on detail. It still is. The National Party has not made the bill available for scrutiny.
It is possible to conclude that this is aimed not at students at all, but at their parents, trying to stir up the hocus-pocus of ‘politically correct schools‘ and ‘they only play to take part‘.
Key certainly emphasized that and not much else :
Schools will have to explain to parents in plain English how their child is doing compared to these National Standards and compared to other children their age.
And this massive change in our education culture is being hastily thrown together and rammed through under urgency. This means professionals in the area will not be able to comment, or even iron out the kinks or stupid oversights in the bill. Let alone give their full opinion on how this might impact on our education culture.
This is how Public Address blogger Jolisa Gracewood has seen the introduction of a similar policy by the Bush administration in the United States:
This No Child Left Behind law, tying school funding to test results, has bled all of the fun and enrichment out of the school day. Second and third graders — six to eight year olds — only get recess two days a week, and art and music and library get an hour each, so that teachers can concentrate on teaching to the test.
Supporters of the policy can hardly argue that the New Zealand policy will be significantly different if we haven’t seen it, and won’t be allowed a proper chance to publicly debate it through the select committee process.
This is a disgrace, on a larger scale than the vindictive workers rights bill. New Zealanders deserve better than this.
Teacher: Well, Key and Tolley, been doing your homework on the bus again? Copying off that Bush boy?
Ambitious for New Zealand? Only if it can be done by Christmas.
A reader of The Standard
lprent: No Right Turn reports that the greens have scanned the bills in A service to democracy since the post was written. It is a pity that NACT didn’t provide them for public scrutiny themselves.