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Massive education fail

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, November 30th, 2016 - 45 comments
Categories: education, national, schools, useless - Tags: , , , ,

National’s education system is producing the inevitable results – NZ kids worst at maths in English-speaking world:

New Zealand 10-year-olds came out worst in the English-speaking world at maths and science in an international test.

The Trends in International Maths and Science Study tested the performance of Year 5 and Year 9 students in 57 countries in 2014 and 2015.

We used to do better in the TIMSS tests. The national standards, back to basics approach doesn’t work.

Instead of having a bunch of ideological idiot MPs who know nothing about education interfere, why not get out of the way and let teachers try it their way?

45 comments on “Massive education fail ”

  1. b waghorn 1

    Bloody youth of today , they’re all lazy drug addicts. can’t teach them anything.

  2. Incognito 2

    Don’t blame National, it is the kids who made the wrong choices and picked the wrong answers in the tests, which, in turn, is the fault of teachers’ unions and Labour, of course. Let the market deal with this through Charter Schools and the problem will soon be sorted out. All we need to do is to again vote in National and its little flea ACT.

  3. Siobhan 3

    Well it’s hardly surprising. Apart from Rutherford I doubt there are many NZers under the age of 60 who could name one single famous mathematician or scientist.
    And I include myself in that sad and ignorant statistic.
    Yet I can name atleast 5 All Blacks despite having NEVER watched a complete game of rugby. Or, infact, more than 10 minutes of a game))

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    “New Zealand 10-year-olds came out worst in the English-speaking world at maths and science in an international test.”

    Ah, but, they’re “among the worst in the world when it comes to bullying. ”


    Which mirrors Our Leaders’ culture.

    • Siobhan 4.1

      Which mirrors Our Leaders’ culture.

      I’m certainly not going to disagree with that.

      But I do wonder if the word ‘bullying’ is also subject to different cultural interpretations and manifests itself in different ways. Every culture has its own very special methods of abuse, repression and power play.

      And you have to wonder about research from someone “who has launched a consulting firm Infer Consulting to advise schools on best practice approaches to tackling bullying”.
      Like she was going to say ‘yeah, I’m setting up a business to deal with something that’s not really an issue”.

      And, incidentally, more privatisation of something that should be provided by the Government/Education Department.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1

        “And you have to wonder about research from someone “who has launched a consulting firm Infer Consulting to advise schools on best practice approaches to tackling bullying”.
        Like she was going to say ‘yeah, I’m setting up a business to deal with something that’s not really an issue”.”

        Yep, I spotted that this morning…I’m a terrible cynic…

    • repateet 4.2

      The Minister of Education has been a great role model for bullying. Bullying works.

      I look forward to her standing in Parliament patting herself on the back in triumph and the recognition for the job she has done with bullying.

  5. hemebond 5

    Doesn’t http://timss.bc.edu/TIMSS2007/PDF/T07_M_IR_Chapter1.pdf show that we were low under Labour too?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      It shows that we have fallen to the very bottom from just below half-way. It also shows that the bottom third or so are significantly behind the rest.

      However, you may be right, and it’s yet another reason to vote Green.

      Thanks for the link.

  6. JanM 6

    The worst of the newspaper article on this subject was that they made no comparison at all with our pre – National Standard statistics which would have shown clearly how poor this failing policy is – devious little right-wingers!

  7. AmaKiwi 7

    “Instead of having a bunch of ideological idiot MPs who know nothing about education interfere, why not get out of the way and let teachers try it their way?”

    Lust for power. Being an MP is a dreadful job (in my personal opinion). The payoff is power. “Power corrupts,” (Lincoln)

    Excuse me. I have to be on a conference call with Trump and Putin.

  8. Thinkerr 8

    when thE people who set the ncea examination questions get it wrong, it’s no surprise that pupils have trouble.

  9. In Vino 9

    Never mind, they still grade the results. despite the claim of ‘Standards-Based Assessment” they actually mark a number of guinea-pig papers, then adjust the marking schedule to make sure that the right numbers of people get the right grades.
    I find it depressing that most teachers know this, yet accept the basic nonsense of standards-based assessment.
    That is how far the barbaric, stupid Govt policies have ground down the standing of teachers, with counter-productive policy and propaganda – especially against teacher unions.
    Teachers are so ground down with over-workload, trying to help their students, that not enough of them realise how important it is to fight damaging policy from ignorant people like Tolley and Parata, plus their cynical, self-centred political backers.
    I agree with OAB about voting Green. For years the Greens have had the best Education Policy.

    • Doogs 9.1

      Exactly. One of the big thrusts of the standards-based system we have now is to weigh down teachers under a massive burden of paperwork so they have no time to protest and develop counter arguments. Anyway, the punitive approach inherent in this system makes it almost impossible to go counter to the process without damaging one’s on career or progress through the ranks.

      Principals are especially vulnerable because the system makes them so structurally accountable that if they say no to any of the new roll-outs they are vilified and marked for criticism, much of it public.

      The whole system is nasty, controlling and vicious.

      On bullying – there is a wide disparity of views on what it is.

      Nick Smith striking back at a green protestor or a housing provider is not bullying. Hekia Parata constantly damning teachers and their supporters and grinding down communities by closing schools unnecessarily is bullying.

      There has to be a vindictive element of constant harassment before it can be called bullying. Not everyone knows that.

  10. Gosman 10

    Interesting that many on the left like standardised testing when it comes to international comparison of student performance. What is the problem with it being used domestically again?

    • Tricledrown 10.1

      Gooseman Texas is ditching standardized testing.
      Its a failure.
      Ask any teacher.
      They have had enough of working long hours just to provide stats for bereaucrats .
      Finland trains teachers to be good teachers.
      New Zealand under National 1990 to 2000 2008 to 2016.
      Continual slide downward in most international studies.

      • Gosman 10.1.1

        Oh the irony. You decry NZ falling down the ladder that is created using standardised testing and as a result don’t want to use standardised testing.

        • Tricledrown

          The Irony of your post.
          National Standards were not used to check our pupils science and maths abilities.

    • Doogs 10.2

      Comparing apples with oranges gosman. The TIMSS testing is a broad test of knowledge for comparative purposes, which groups results of the individual tests together into a complete result over all those tested. This is used to show where different countries lie on some arbitrary ranking system. I don’t hold much store by it.

      National Standards are a quite similar style of regime. They are also arbitrary in their focus, the levels having been set by those other than experts in education i.e. teachers. They have been devised as a blunt instrument to gauge schools’ “progress” and the resultant statistics are then used as a tool to control what happens to those schools. Because of their tiered structure they box, pigeon-hole and label children for what level they achieve at particular benchmark points. The testing does not ask the right questions, does not measure the correct aspects of a child’s development and creates an enormous amount of wasted teacher time with unnecessary paperwork. There is no need to be so rigid in checking where children are at, and, as already stated, the wrong aspects of learning are being looked at.

      To return to the apples/oranges thing – children should be taught to know, check, compare, sift, sort, arrange, make judgments about all knowledge and ideas. Put that with the widely varying rates at which children develop and you may begin to see the hopeless, needless way that children are brutally, yes brutally, compared with each other under our current system. The TIMSS test does it, and it doesn’t matter. Our system does it, and it does matter. Teachers need more time to teach and less time to test.

      A good analogy for this would be to ask a monkey, a crocodile, an elephant and a zebra to take the same test – ‘Please climb that tree’. In fact children may be leopards, snakes, gorillas, lions, mice, etc, etc. All of them have different levels of success at achieving that goal at different times in their development, but only the monkey will pass the test with flying colours.

      The whole approach to teaching children, to prepare them for the world of independence and integration, is currently and rapidly moving in the wrong direction. The neo-lib way is based on standardisation and control. That is never the best way to broaden little minds and expand their consciousness.

  11. mpledger 11

    I don’t think people of the left like standardised testing – international or internal.

    There are major problems with making comparisons between countries with TIMMS. In order for the comparisons to have any meaning then all other conditions need to be the same. But that;s not so –
    1) the curricula are different between countries,
    2) the amount of time spent on maths and science are different between countries, and
    3) some countries mainstream there physically and mentally disabled children and some kids educate them separately (I think Japan educates them via their health system not education system) so aren’t included in the testing .

    Plus NZ has had a huge influx on new migrants, a lot of them without English or without English as a first language. Their kids get included in testing whereas in other countries e.g. Asian countries, there is not that wave of immigrants.

    In my daughter’s decile 5 school in year 7 and 8 – 1/4 of the class would have English as a second language and 1 or 2 were new English language learners. It makes a huge difference about what can be taught in the classroom.

  12. Exile 12

    Finland teaches teachers to be teachers. True.
    They also disagree with modern pedagogy and ideas such as round tables set ups, children learning how to problem-solve and primary schools without homework and tests. The kids have almost daily tests from year three. the kids learn three languages, they have daily schedules, they learn natural and social science from year 4 and they have books in every topic.
    Compare that with our schools, where student sits at a round and table and work in project groups or with a buddy to solve question. Where students have ZERO homework, no books and no tests. We have created an environment where students dont learn.

    Whats destroyed our schools are not politicians, its our academics who have sold us the idea that children cant be taught they way they used to and that instead learning comes from interaction and problem solving techniques.
    its insane, we do worse every year at any international comparison (for example PISA) and insteadof reflecting and changing, we up the ante and push even furher down this track of failed learning, this in the face of results that show how we do worse every year.

    If we want Finlands example, and they are damn good, we have to accept that every reform from 1995 and onwards have been a step in the wrong direction.
    Instead back to a silent classroom, where students have a book in each subject and where there are multiple homeworks to be done weekly.
    That would get results. As I see it, neither National or my beloved labour is telling us this.

    Its also something that affect our voters more. its our voters that need the opportunity that free quality education gives every child no matter social background. As it is now, the rich can send their kids to tuition, to private schools (who of course refuse to follow the folly that is NZ teaching and learning academics).

    Schhols should be an election winner. Its enough with ONE image of a modern classroom and one from 1985 and to show world ranking in both years and say “We want our school back – Labour”.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      To follow Finland’s example we’ll also be tightening the criteria for employing teachers and inflating the rewards, no?

      “Whatever works”.

      • Gosman 12.1.1

        How do you know what works if you don’t measure it somehow?

        • KJT

          Tell us how you measure creativity, independent thought, problem solving skills, and confidence in learning new skills.

          Even measuring levels in Language ability is full of co.plications and subjectivity.

    • KJT 12.2

      I am a bit dubious about advice from someone who doesn’t know the difference between formative and summative testing.
      When Teaching, formative testing (Finnish style) is a tool to help me structure my teaching to individual students needs, not a means of ranking.

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