National Standards scrapped with no replacement

The contentious National Standards in education have been scrapped, with no alternative lined up and nothing planned until next September.

RNZ: National standards ditched by government

This year’s achievement rates in the national standards in reading, writing and maths will remain a mystery after the government began the process of ditching the standards.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced schools would not have to report their 2017 results to the Education Ministry and would not be required to use or report on the standards next year.

Mr Hipkins said the government would develop a new system to replace the standards next year in consultation with teachers and principals.

Former Education Minister, National Party MP Nikki Kaye, said the government had taken a “nuclear approach” in moving so quickly to abolish the benchmarks.

“It’s a very sad day for New Zealand. We’ve got the minister making a decision that affects hundreds and thousands of children and their parents without consulting with parents,” she said.

Ms Kaye said the decision would leave a gap in national information about children’s performance at school and parents would not know how their children’s achievement would be reported next year.

But Mr Hipkins said parents and teachers were expecting the announcement.

“I don’t think anyone will be surprised that we are ditching a failed experiment,” he said.

He said schools could continue to use the standards if they wanted to.

So they are not scrapped, they are now just voluntary?

Treasury recommended retaining the standards until replacement ready

A Cabinet paper published today said the new system would measure children’s progress and focus on “key competencies for success in life, learning and work”.

It said in the meantime the government would require schools to report on children’s progress as well as achievement with an emphasis on good quality information from a range of sources.

The paper showed Treasury supported the plan to measure children’s progress against a wider range of subjects, but warned that dumping the standards would create a gap in national information about children’s achievement.

It recommended retaining the standards until the replacement system was ready.

It seems like a rush job to make it look like the Government is active in making changes, but seems a bit half cocked.

21 Comments

  1. High Flying Duck

     /  December 12, 2017

    Labour – showing once again that education is all about the Teachers. Union.

  2. Corky

     /  December 12, 2017

    Just heard a Teacher Union rep on the radio. It’s a waste of time repeating what she said.
    A best summation was she talked in subjective mush mode. Nothing is concrete now. Little Johnny is now doing excellent for his learning style. Except when little Johnny does an apprenticeship and they find he’s as thick as a bit of 4by2.

    But that’s the way Marxists like it. Intelligent people don’t vote left and waste their time thinking about what’s good for the collective.

    Individualism is both the curse and cure for socialism. That’s why schools hate kids with high IQ’s. They question bs.

    • Gezza

       /  December 12, 2017

      I’m a great believer in questioning BS. As you know, Corks.

  3. Ray

     /  December 12, 2017

    As I said after the election Hipkins is just a tool for the teacher Unions .
    They hated having real standards as there was a chance their efforts might be measured and the dead wood removed.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 12, 2017

    They intend to replace National Standards with Labour doctrinal blather and Hipkins is starting as they intend to continue.

  5. duperez

     /  December 12, 2017

    That was something to mull over while mowing some lawn – “National Standards scrapped with no replacement. The contentious National Standards in education have been scrapped, with no alternative lined up and nothing planned until next September.”

    When cancer is got rid of what is going to replace it?

    • Corky

       /  December 12, 2017

      Why don’t you tell us?

      • duperez

         /  December 12, 2017

        What I can tell you is that the National Standards won’t be replaced by a vacuum of ignorance. That clearly flourishes anyway.

  6. Bill Courtney

     /  December 12, 2017

    National Standards never achieved anything. The silly comments around “what will replace them” need to take into account that we did perfectly well for decades without them and will simply do so again.

    The aggregate percentage of students assessed as “At” or “Above Standard” did not change over 6 years of data, i.e. from 2011 to 2016. Now poor old Treasury feels there will be a gap in the national information? You mean, like, they can’t see that it hasn’t changed in 6 years so now there is a terrible problem? Really?

    National Standards was Bill English’s idea from the mid 1990s. The system they concocted was hastily written by two teams of contractors, never tested or trialled and was heavily criticised by the academics and NZCER when it was launched in October 2009.

    It was a poor idea, badly implemented. Even John Hattie could not get John Key to see that it was terrible as NS simply became a political football. I doubt if John Key ever understood the NS system anyway.

    One key sign was that the private schools – which were never forced to do NS – did not take to them voluntarily. They just kept their heads down and ignored them. Good move!

    • Corky

       /  December 12, 2017

      ”National Standards was Bill English’s idea from the mid 1990s. The system they concocted was hastily written by two teams of contractors,”

      Unfortunately, much as it pains me to admit, that is correct. It was an ill implemented idea.

      ”The silly comments around “what will replace them. We did perfectly well for decades without them.”

      That’s not been experience. I remember parents being exasperated by comments like-
      ” your child is doing fine. He will catch on.” Many didn’t. At least with National Standards parents could be told: ‘your child is not reaching national averages.” Now, that’s neither a good nor bad thing. Some kids are slower than average. What it did allow for was parents to take remedial action if necessary. Why do you think paid after school remedial classes are full?

      ”One key sign was that the private schools – which were never forced to do NS – did not take to them voluntarily.”

      No need. They already had high standards if NCEA and Cambridge results are to go by.
      Kids at most private schools are expected to perform. Full stop. And most do.

      • Bill Courtney

         /  December 12, 2017

        You are speculating – and incorrectly, I’m afraid. Like so many people, you do not seem to know that NS had nothing to do with “national averages”. NS is a standards based assessment system, so the student is assessed against the standard alone. Being At Standard does not mean being average. Neither did NS tell a parent how their child performed against the population as a whole, i.e. NS is not norm-referenced.

        Also, you speculate that it allowed parents to take remedial action if necessary. Parents have done that for decades – it had nothing to do with NS. The teacher telling you what is really happening has always been the most reliable method of reporting. And remember that the NS system never mandated reporting terminology and format, which were always left to individual schools.

        • Corky

           /  December 12, 2017

          That’s not what my grandchild’s report showed. I can’t speak as to how the student is assessed. I will take your word for it. In fact, see below. His report read ‘not achieving national standard average’ ”Expected to achieve National Standard” and ”Satisfactory’

          Now given National Standards wasn’t averaged based, it still quite markedly pointed to major failings in my grandson comprehension and understanding. It beats ”More work needed,” ”Can improve,” Doing well.

          ”Also, you speculate that it allowed parents to take remedial action if necessary. Parents have done that for decades – it had nothing to do with NS. ”

          True, but that has increased markedly over the last few years. I know people working in the sector. So if its not NS..what is it? What made parents realise remedial work was needed? And why will the stats continue getting worse under Labour (prediction)?

          ”And remember that the NS system never mandated reporting terminology and format, which were always left to individual schools.”

          Well , that explains the inconstancy I have seen in several reports.

          http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/standards.pdf

      • duperez

         /  December 12, 2017

        So when kids are ‘slower than average’ and have remedial help do they get to be ‘average’ ?
        And if they get to be average does that mean (no pun intended) that some others accordingly have dropped from above average to average or from average to below average?

        • Corky

           /  December 12, 2017

          ”So when kids are ‘slower than average’ and have remedial help do they get to be ‘average’ ?”

          Good question. Don’t know. But why take the risk? In today’s competitive environment you need to be at your best The people I know in the sector say kids improve immensely, simply because it’s one on one, and the kids don’t feel shy to say they don’t understand.

          ”And if they get to be average does that mean (no pun intended) that some others accordingly have dropped from above average to average or from average to below average?”

          I hate to say this…but you could benefit from some remedial work…in the comprehension of stats…and mean averages.

          • Gezza

             /  December 12, 2017

            I hate to say this…
            My BS detector just went off the scale, Corks?

          • Corky

             /  December 12, 2017

            I forgot to add. This is paid schooling. So naturally many kids are precluded. The kids that attend such classes usually have switched on parents. Many Asian and Indian kids, who to use Gezza’s line, have parents whose BS detector goes off the scale when seeing the state of our state education system.

            • Gezza

               /  December 12, 2017

              I’ve got Sri Lankan neighbours on the North side, & Malaysian Chinese neighbours on the South side. Their children are all either currently doing well at University in Law & Accountancy & in one case has graduated and is now a fully qualified pharmacist. All of them completed all their secondary education at Welly State schools, & their parents have no issues with them? I think good parents taking an interest & setting expectations for their children probably makes a big difference.

              (Except for one. The youngest, 15 year old daughter of the Malaysian Chinese couple unfortunately got fastened on to by a 28 year old, scruffy, Pakeha apprentice chef who, unbeknown to them, was picking her up after school & taking her home. When told to end the relationship or leave home, she chose to leave home. Her mum refuses to see her again.)

  7. robertguyton

     /  December 12, 2017

    Delighted it’s gone. The previous system of reporting will do quite nicely, as it did before the NS crock was foisted upon schools. Well done, Government.

  8. Bill Courtney

     /  December 12, 2017

    Correction. Make that the mid 2000s. The private members bill eventually went into the House in 2006 under Katharine Rich’s name, as she had taken over as National Education spokesperson by then.