Yesterday, the OECD released its annual comparison of educational achievement in different countries. This study compares half a million kids’ aptitude in reading, maths, and science. Kiwi kids come out pretty damn well: 7th in reading, 13th in maths, 8th in science. And, guess what, we beat countries with National Standards hands down.
Anne Tolley’s main models for National Standards are the UK and US. Here’s how we fare compared to them:
I venture to suggest that the fact that National Standards encourage teachers to ‘teach to the test’, rather than general skills in a topic, is a key reason why achievement is so much lower in the US and UK. The kids might be able to learn by rort the answers to their National Standards but they don’t have the skill set to cope with a different set of examinations.
So, what’s Tolley’s policy to get us even further up the achievement table than we already are? Why National Standards, of course.