If there was a national standard in scientific method than the right wing spinsters talking up yesterday’s national standards results would all fail it. As reported yesterday:
Concerning trends in National Standards data
Education Minister Hekia Parata says the latest National Standards data reveals some concerning trends, including a decline in the rate of achievement as the year level increases, especially in mathematics. … However, Ms Parata said that overall the results were a “pleasing advance on last year’s data”. …
The 2012 national aggregate data shows:
• Reported achievement against the National Standard for reading increased by 1.2 percentage points from 76.2 per cent in 2011 to 77.4 per cent in 2012.
• Reported achievement against the National Standard for mathematics increased by 1.4 points from 72.2 per cent in 2011 to 73.6 per cent in 2012.
• Reported achievement against the National Standard for writing increased by 2 points from 68 per cent in 2011 to 70 per cent in 2012.
There are no “trends” that can be meaningfully observed in a tiny difference between two noisy data points from an unreliable, unmoderated process. It’s nonsense:
Educators dismiss claim of national standards improvement
Educators have dismissed Government figures on national standards results showing students are doing better in reading, writing and maths.
… The figures are between 1.2 and 2 percentage points higher than in 2011, the first year schools reported their results. Education Minister Hekia Parata said the change is because students are doing better.
Or it’s noise, or it’s grade inflation, or it’s teaching to the test and ignoring other important aspects of education, and so on.
… But Principals Federation president Phillip Harding dismissed Ms Parata’s comments. “The claim by the minister that … 1 percent here and there represents an improvement is frankly ridiculous. “The standards are not national, they are not standard and teachers are still interpreting them in completely different ways from one end of the country to the other. To then come out and say that it represents progress is either mischievous or it’s uninformed.”
Professor Lee believes the increase was because teachers were concentrating on things that gave students high scores in tests to help decide if they had met a standard.
Education academics have described Ms Parata’s claim as dangerous, not credible and very optimistic. They say teachers are still learning how to use the standards and it is too soon to draw any conclusions from the results.
Howard Lee, head of educational studies at Massey University, says the latest results don’t show that students are doing better in reading, writing and maths. “That isn’t a credible claim. Essentially, what we’d be wanting to look for is long-term improvements over at least five to 10 years. I mean, it’s natural over a year or two that a 1.2 to 2 percent increase is interesting, but I think that the key point really is, no I don’t think the data is robust at this point.” …
Of course that doesn’t stop ignorant anonymous commentators from dutifully repeating the Nats’ spin in newspapers that should know better.
It’s good to see that Labour have come out and said that they would dump national standards (along with charter schools). Good. These ideologically driven (and known to be damaging) fantasies have no place in a good education system.