Yesterday, the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, joining the education union NZEI, launched their campaign opposing the Government’s National Standards. The current status of the Standards controversy is this.
The Government considers that the design phase of the Standards is over and done with. They are now into the implementation phase but are facing (and perplexed by?) mounting opposition from the Primary sector. The issue of whether the Standards will raise education achievements is hotly debated. The weight of informed debate lies against the Standards achieving what they are purported to deliver however.
A growing number of education practitioners want the Government to go back to first principles and revisit the design of the Standards. Successful implementation of the package is premised on sound evidenced based design. If the design of the standards links through to providing valid education outcomes, the implementation process should go reasonably smoothly and with minimal fuss.
The key for the Government in getting National Standards implemented rests with the design of the package linking up with desirable educational outcomes. Achieve that and the sector will work hard to get them in place.