National Standards Solve Nothing

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, September 24th, 2012 - 85 comments
Categories: education, schools - Tags: ,

Reprinted with permission from Dave Kennedy (bsprout) at Local Bodies.


Hekia Parata has released the first statistics available from the collection of National Standards data and was able to claim that 76% of children in years 1-8 were above the Standard for reading, 72% were above the standard for Maths and 68% in writing. Given the flawed, unmoderated nature of the standards this is nothing more than a rough estimate that isn’t far off what could have been estimated using other data. Parata also revealed that Maori and Pasifika children scored significantly lower with up to 46% of Pasifika children below or well below the standard and Maori children scoring 42% below for writing, 34% for reading and 38% for Maths.

Parata promoted the data as if we wouldn’t have been aware of these concerns without National Standards and yet this knowledge has existed for many years and far more useful assessments have been used in the past to establish it. All National Standards does is give a broad idea of those above or below standards in three areas, with no qualitative detail on what specific areas cause lack of achievement of what teachers could do to address the deficits.

While National Standards has cost around $60 million to force onto schools many programmes designed to address the causes of underachievement have been under resourced or cut altogether. It seem extraordinary that Pasifika children were known to be a group that needed extra support and yet the Government has deliberately cut funding to Pasifika language nests and bilingual support. It has also under resourced Ka Hikitia which was designed to address Maori achievement in English medium schools.

The Government’s cuts to the Ministry of Education has also had a direct impact on front line special education staff and resource teachers providing learning support are overwhelmed and underfunded.

The Campbell Live  TV item, that compared the lunches between a decile 10 and decile 1 school, starkly demonstrated one of the reasons many children may under perform at school. Poverty is a well established contributor to under achievement and yet any initiative to address this issue has been ignored by the government.

I’m sure there will be more announcements from Minister Parata regarding the “unique” revelations that the National Standards have uncovered, however they are not actually providing new knowledge and they won’t make one jot of difference for the children who need immediate support.

85 comments on “National Standards Solve Nothing”

  1. Stephen Doyle 1

    What scares me is that because the standards are not moderated, the call for national testing will become louder. Then our children’s education will really be screwed.

  2. Dv 2

    Apparently Lorraine Kerr is on 9 to noon say it is all the teachers fault.
    http://robertwinter.blogspot.co.nz/

    BUT how come those poor teacher who are so good at evaluation, cant teach!!!

    AND
    Lots of shock horror expose from the media.
    Stuff- poor kids do worse: data
    “Data” DUH
    Cant find the herald one

    They paid 60m for that.
    I could have told them that for $60 5 years ago.

    AND apparently the PM is welcoming the debate.

    Shame he rushed the standard through under urgency when a debate would have been useful.

    ANYWAY
    What are the NATS going to do with this ‘data’ now?
    So far there has been NO suggestion of any solutions.

    • Gosman 2.1

      They have but you might have missed it. Do you remember the rather large debate about Charter Schools recently?

      Regardless, now there is a set of measurements that any policy solutions can be measured against, even those from the left.

      • Dv 2.1.1

        OH Charter schools.
        AND how are they going to fix the problem.

        AND Gosman the ‘data’ is NOT reliable!!!

        The ‘data’ is NOT moderated.

        • Gosman 2.1.1.1

          You data is what it is – raw data on the results of schools against the National standards. Whether you wish to ‘moderate’ the data to take in to account other factors is up to you. To me the data is useful at measuring educational outcomes without further changes.

          • framu 2.1.1.1.1

            “against the National standards. ”

            please define these standards – including what is considered a pass etc, and how the data coming from schools aligns with the standards and how accurate the reporting is?

          • Dv 2.1.1.1.2

            Gosman you be happy for each olympic team to bring their own measuring devices to the games, and not be calibrated, and the medal be decided on that basis.

            • Gosman 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Are you implying that NZ teachers are unable to manage to measure the educational outcome of the children they teach against a set of National standards? If so then you must be worried about the quality of the teaching profession in this country.

              • Dv

                No
                But the standrds NEED to be moderated, just like ANY measrement system.

                • Gosman

                  They don’t NEED to be moderated. You might prefer that they are for whatever reason. What is this reason by the way?

                  • Dv

                    Why not gosman?

                    • Gosman

                      You’re the one jumping up and down stating they NEED to be moderated so therefore perhaps you will explain your reasoning for this position.

                  • framu

                    why are exams and other assesments for schools moderated?

                    theres a reason – a really big, huge, 10,000 foot tall with a gorilla on top reason

                    • Dv

                      For example
                      The same reason as olymic teams are not allowed to bring their own measiung systems.

                      The same reason as in large exams markers marks are moderated to remove and personal bias, known or unknown.

                    • Gosman

                      How are the international data that leftists, including both the Labour party and the Greens, are fond of quoting when it comes to education debate, (e.g. NZ lies so and so compared to OECD countries in Reading), moderated Dv?

                    • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                      Did you even bother to read the OECD PISA FAQ before you made a complete fool of yourself?

      • mike e 2.1.2

        $ 60 million wasted on statistics and we already know the problems!
        National have cut many of the programs that were designed to fix these problems !
        Act Don Maori bash said closing the gaps is a race based policy!
        Now they have the figures , fixing the problem is 10 years down the track and money and teachers time is being wasted!
        Dumb and Dumber!
        From bean brained bean counters!

        • Gosman 2.1.2.1

          Good oh. You now have data to back up your plans for spending extra funding on whatever leftist inspired educational solution you want to push. You must be pleased.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1

            Did you lose a third of your IQ over the weekend?

            NZ educational experts set up world class systems and got world leading results for NZ children.

            So let’s listen to them and not education dissing morons like Tolley and Parata.

            • Gosman 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Are you implying there is no problems at all with the NZ education system and nothing that can or should be changed to improve it?

              If so, I wonder if that is the policy position of any left leaning political party in NZ also. I suspect it isn’t the position of the NZ Labour party given the recent policy announcements made by David Shearer on this subject.

              • framu

                are you implying that a non standardised, non national and non moderated assesment system to find out things we already know with no plan for actions to be taken based on the result will fix…. well… anything?

                I would love to be your mechanic mate.
                I would be able to run up huge bills to tell you things you already know and not fix a thing on your goal post shifting truck

                • Gosman

                  Is it Labour party policy to ditch the National standards? If not, why not?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Wait for election year Gossie. But yeah, that’s what we’re going to make Labour do.

                    • Gosman

                      CV I’d be extremely impressed if you managed to convince the Labour party, (or any other political grouping), to do anything let alone making a major change in their education policy platform. Somehow I suspect I will remain unimpressed for a while longer.

                  • framu

                    i dont fuc*ing know – im not a member of the labour party you dolt.

                    are going to answer anything without twisting and turning like a twisty turny thing? if not why not?

                    • Gosman

                      My point, (which seems beyond your level of comprehension at the moment), is that if the debate about National Standards was as black and white as you imply then it would be a no brainer that the main opposition party would be calling for them to be abolished. However this doesn’t look like it is the case. This means it is highly probable the will be around for at least another half decade or so. In short you might as well get use to them and see if you can get some benefit from them.

                    • framu

                      really – insulting to boot

                      wasnt this your point?

                      “Regardless, now there is a set of measurements that any policy solutions can be measured against, even those from the left.”

                      people then went on to discuss why thats not correct – your the one who shifted to “well other parties havent said they would remove them”

                      its not my fault you find it hard to stay on point

                    • Gosman

                      That’s right, National standards are going to be around for a while longer so you may as well take advantage of them to push your particular ideological based educational solution. If the wider left didn’t think they were useful at all then they would be getting rid of them as soon as they got back into power.

                    • framu

                      “National standards are going to be around for a while longer”

                      – not part of your original point

                      ” so you may as well take advantage of them to push your particular ideological based educational solution. ”

                      – not part of your original point

                      “If the wider left didn’t think they were useful at all then they would be getting rid of them as soon as they got back into power.”

                      – not part of your original point

                      if that was your point youve taken a awfully bloody long time to get round to articulating it.

                      however i think this was your standard “avoidance and goal post shift” that you always do, all the time, eveywhere

              • mike e

                Goose stepper you intellectual leper last time national were in power our international Education Standards slipped from 6th to 18th!
                It took 9 years of labour to get up to 4th!
                Looking at our University rankings they have slipped dramatically over all since this government has come to power!
                This is just a bullying exercise!
                How come 40 out of 50 US states have dropped Standards testing !

                • Gosman

                  So you DO like measurements then mike e when it comes to comparing NZ’s educational achievements. Excellent, I knew you’d come around.

                  • Rob

                    Yes this is bizaar this international ranking stuff. How is it that we cannot measure two primary schools in the same area evidently, yet we can compare our entire national year 11 and year 12’s (15 year olds I think) to countries all over the world.

                    It seems crazy that the arguments that are being used against national standards are being supressed when we talk about an even more wooly international study.

                    For my part, it was very interesting to see how the primary school that my children have been to and go too rated against others in the area.

                    • Gosman

                      I’ve posed the question to Dv, who seems obsessed with data being moderated, about how the international data that the left is fond of quoting in any education debate is moderated so to remove bias etc. I suspect the data isn’t moderated at all but I wait to be pleasently surprised.

                    • Dv

                      Reply to Gosman re moderation
                      Answered above.

                    • Gosman

                      Hmmmm… not sure you have or at least I can’t see the answer to how the international data that people on the left like to bring up on the Education topic, (i.e. comparing us to other nations), is moderated. Perhaps you would be kind enough to provide the post number where you address this?

                    • Dv

                      nope Gosman, sorry I didnt realise you changed the topic from nat std to international results.

                      You spend some time looking it up about the international results, and report back.

                    • Rob

                      I have DV , in an honest attempt to understand all this. As I understand the international result is based on comparison of one aged year (I think 15 years old) . The study is completed about every 4 years and seems a pretty light comparison which is all it really could be.

                    • Dv

                      Sorry rob, my comments were to gosman not you.

                    • Gosman

                      You miss the point Dv. If the international statistics that the left keep spouting on this subject aren’t moderated then aren’t they as invalid as the National Standards data?

                  • Rob

                    Yes I understand DV, my comments were genuine as well.

                    • Dv

                      NOPE gosman YOU miss the point
                      I am talking about The national standards. YOU raised the international data.
                      YOU show that it is Not moderated.

                      Tto make the national standards valid and reliable they need to be moderated appropriatly.

                    • Gosman

                      Would you agree then that if the international statistics are not moderated then they cannot be used by anyone for any meaningful comparision between countries by your own logic?

                    • Dv

                      Odd
                      What is my logic gosman?

                    • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                      The “international standards” (OECD PISA) are “moderated”. Gosman fail.

                    • Gosman

                      I never stated that they weren’t moderated. I did state that if they weren’t it would make any comparisions meaningless. By the way where is the evidence that they are moderated? As far as I can tell from looking at the details the results are simply cross checked rather than moderated.

                    • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                      On their website. Where do you expect? Duh!

                      And before you start:
                      moderated, past participle, past tense of mod·er·ate (Verb)
                      Verb:
                      1. Make or become less extreme, intense, rigorous, or violent.
                      (in academic and ecclesiastical contexts)
                      2. Preside over (a deliberative body) or at (a debate).

                      They are “presided over” by a single (deliberative) body – in this case the company that runs the tests. Hence “moderated”.

                      Now get back under your bridge.

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                             
                      Once again Gos flunks a basic reading task. Poor effort, not achieved.

                • mike e

                  McFlock don’t gloat he could aschuali he could become NZ.s next primincter

      • Dr Terry 2.1.3

        Sure, Gosman, I remember large debates alright from all over the world and they were all ANTI Charter Schools! Just what do you think is going to be measured against what? Don’t give me your “policy solutions” thanks.

      • Ed 2.1.4

        Can anyone confirm that Charter Schools (and indeed all schools receiving government funding) will be required to provide “National Standards” data?

        Isn’t the idea that “National Standards” makes Charter and Private schools more attractive because they will not have such a narrow focus of educational achievement? teachers will not have to waste a huge amount of time filling out bureaucratic forms and responding to OIA requests (oh of course they will be exempt from OIA anyway, won’t they . . .)

        • Dv 2.1.4.1

          Private schools dont have to do national stds., so i would think that charter schools will be exempt too.

    • David H 2.2

      Well now lets see, the Data will go out for committees to write a red , green , yellow and blue papers each detailing a different outcome and lets see which of the 4 we can save more money with, and start with that. To write a white paper, and present that to the government in oh about 4 years, at a cost of $6.5 Million

  3. Carol 3

    And John Key, he of the “don’t read, don’t know” about the police report on John Banks, has declared that having the facts (on National Standards) out in public for discussion is a good thing, because,

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7721069/Key-on-National-Standards-Ignorance-takes-us-nowhere

    “Ignorance takes us nowhere,” Key said.

    • Dv 3.1

      Beat me to it Carol.

      AND are we any further ahead than we were 5 years ago?

    • Dv 3.2

      AND who pushed the nat standard through without select committee or a trial.

      He is right ignorance took us nowhere and cost us 60m

    • David H 3.3

      How does he know that? Did he read it somewhere?

      • gobsmacked 3.3.1

        “Ignorance takes us nowhere” is a gift-wrapped quote for the opposition. Key has reached new levels of irony.

        “Does he stand by his statement …” should be question no. 1 in Parliament tomorrow.

    • Dr Terry 3.4

      “Ignorance takes us nowhere”, as illustrated in Key himself!

  4. js 4

    The School Trustees Assn is an employer organisation. The employer is in effect the government. They are only ever going to say what the government wants them too, including any chance to attack the teachers.

  5. No matter what Gosman says regarding his rather flawed belief in National Standards they are, at the end of the day, just a measuring tool. Measuring a plant doesn’t assist its growth and measuring a child’s achievement doesn’t make them learn better. What would help are programmes and resources that support learning for underachievers and professional development for teachers to support better teaching. National has just spent $60 million to tell us what we already knew and at the same time have:
    -Created a high stakes assessment system that will narrow teaching and learning and cause a decline in achievement, like what has been experienced in Britain and the US.
    -Cut funding to the Ministry of Education and frontline special education staff.
    -Sacked most of our advisors
    -Closed our special residential schools.
    -Underfunded or wiped funding that were specifically designed to address under achievement.
    -Forced teachers to spend countless hours on assent and data collection with dubious purpose when they could be spending more time planning great learning experiences.
    -Demoralised the education sector to the extent that we are looking at teacher shortages in the near future.
    -Failed to address growing family poverty that has a direct relationship to underachievement.
    -Introduced a Charter School system that will further erode quality.

    I’m sorry, Gosman, for something to thrive and grow you need nutrients and encouragement, not measurement, starvation and threats. We already have the bizarre Planet Key and I wonder if Planet Gosman can be found in the same galaxy…

    • Dv 5.1

      That is a depressing summary bean & well worth repeating.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 5.2

      Measuring a plant doesn’t assist its growth and measuring a child’s achievement doesn’t make them learn better. What would help are programmes and resources that support learning for underachievers and professional development for teachers to support better teaching. National has just spent $60 million to tell us what we already knew and at the same time have:
      -Created a high stakes assessment system that will narrow teaching and learning and cause a decline in achievement, like what has been experienced in Britain and the US.
      -Cut funding to the Ministry of Education and frontline special education staff.
      -Sacked most of our advisors
      -Closed our special residential schools.
      -Underfunded or wiped funding that were specifically designed to address under achievement.
      -Forced teachers to spend countless hours on assent and data collection with dubious purpose when they could be spending more time planning great learning experiences.
      -Demoralised the education sector to the extent that we are looking at teacher shortages in the near future.
      -Failed to address growing family poverty that has a direct relationship to underachievement.
      -Introduced a Charter School system that will further erode quality.

      ‘k’noath. A brilliant summation – someone put this in a speech or something!

  6. Dv 6

    I WAS wrong
    National standards DO identify the achievement tail.

    Careful in depth analysis of the data by Keith Ng and Dimpost has shown us we the tail is.

    They are employed by HOS as reporters and editors.

    http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/re-education/

    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/well-below-standard-in-analysis/

    • Is this really the tail, DV? Remove all those children with special learning needs and disabilities (their results have to be included in the mix, other countries don’t include them in such assessments), remove emigrants with english as a second language (20% of NZ children included in the international PIRLS assessment had English as a second language), remove those children not considered disabled but are on the continuum of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/110606/'alarming'-rate-of-foetal-alcohol-syndrome and the 20% tail of under achievement is halved and doesn’t look so bad. It means that when you compare us with the most successful countries in educational achievement, like Finland (which has very little poverty and is basically a monoculture), then our highly multicultural country with growing income inequities comes out well. A 90% success rate is actually pretty good.

      • Dv 6.1.1

        Dave sorry, I was being sarcastic.
        The level of analysis by the reporter were crap. I was trying to imply the HOS reports weren’t too bright

        YES i agree, your analysis needs to have a wider audience.

        • Dave Kennedy 6.1.1.1

          Dv, I sort of gathered that when I saw your links but thought that my reply was still worth sharing. Tolley and Parata have been desperate to somehow demonstrate that the system is failing so that they can bring in their ideological solutions. Tolley would repeat her mantra of “20% are failing so we need National Standards” and Parata’s mantra is about failing Maori and Pacifika children. What Parata sadly ignores is that although Maori and Pacifika children have disproportionately high numbers under achieving, European New Zealand children still make up 50% of them. What’s common to them all is that the majority come from poor families.

  7. tracey 7

    “ignorance takes us nowhere” john key

    Which explains why no one knows where nz is headed.

  8. tracey 8

    Tom scotts cartoon today sums it up nicely.

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