I really like my children’s school – I think they work hard to keep those young minds engaged and bodies active. I know it’s a job that is pretty demanding, and hugely important. So when I hear that three-quarters of teachers are feeling unprepared and rushed as they work to implement National’s new national standards (according to a NZEI survey) I start to feel apprehensive. According to the survey:
94% of principals said they had concerns about National Standards and their implementation and only 10.1% thought National Standards would make a positive difference to student learning. When asked how confident they were that they’d had enough time and professional learning to implement the National Standards policy, only 2.5% said they felt very confident, while 75% said they were not very confident or severely lacking in confidence.
However according to the NZ Herald, Education Minister Anne Tolley said the majority of schools were getting on with implementing the standards in a professional manner. Eight-four per cent of schools had taken part in the first round of national standards workshops and feedback had been positive, she said. But just 18 per cent of survey participants said the development sessions would help to implement the standards.
Plus I’m not sure whether attending is the same as agreeing – indeed attending may have hightened the level of concern! I have to agree with NZEI President Frances Nelson who says
‘It’s not too late to listen to the voice of principals, teachers, schools and parents, and acknowledge that the Standards are flawed and are being rushed”. I’d certainly rather have something slower that actually has the support of the professionals who we enstrust our children to.