New Zealand to publish Literacy and Numeracy Standards despite School Principals’ Opposition

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 12th, 2012

Week in Review

The education system hierarchs are circling the wagons.  This time in New Zealand.  For they are under assault.  By parents.  Who want a means to measure the quality of their children’s education.  And principals oppose these parental thugs for good reason.  They don’t want parents to know that they may not be very good in their jobs (see Data release ‘sad day’ by JONATHAN CARSON posted 8/8/2012 on the Waikato Times).

A Waikato education leader says it is a ”sad day for New Zealand education” after the Government announced plans to publicly release National Standards data today.

Education Minister Hekia Parata this morning confirmed that schools’ literacy and numeracy achievement levels will be published on the Ministry’s website in September.

She said it would allow parents to see how their child’s school was performing…

Waikato Principals’ Association chair John Coulam said principals in the region opposed the data being made public.

”What is of concern is that people who look at the data, unless they understand education, they can be making misleading judgements.

”Looking at data released on a website won’t show the hardworking teachers in the school, it won’t show the added value that’s made by a school – all it will show is that there are students that aren’t achieving, and there will always be a tail.”

So hardworking teachers’ efforts won’t appear in this data because the non-hardworking teachers’ poor efforts will bring the scores down?  The data won’t show how well a school does in other areas besides literacy and numeracy?  And what educational skills would these be?  Teaching the importance of diversity?  The evils of global warming and the necessity of a carbon tax?  I bet young students can tell you an earful on global warming even if they have poor literacy and numeracy skills.  Because it’s like that in the U.S.  Where the public education systems appear to be teaching our students more of what’s good for the public school system (teaching them to vote Democrat) than what is good for the students.  Strong literacy and numeracy skills.

Parents want the best education for their kids.  That means holding schools accountable.  And if they don’t look at the quality of the product of their education (literacy and numeracy skills) how else are they going to hold schools accountable?  Especially if they have non-hardworking teachers lowering educational scores?  Education is the only industry that we are supposed to accept whatever they say about their product.  Can you imagine any other industry getting to do that?

“You wouldn’t understand how to read a chemical analysis report.  So you shouldn’t.  Just trust us when we say that the smoke out of our stack and the discharge out of our plant into the river is clean.”

“Clean?  Okay.  Thank you very much.  I feel better now.  And I will let my children swim downstream of your discharge.”

Can you imagine that happening?  I dare say you can’t.

Education isn’t complicated.  That’s why private schools thrive.  People who can afford it will send their kids to private school.  Because they know they will come out of those schools with better literacy and numeracy skills.  Not because their kids will learn skills other than literacy and numeracy.  Because that’s what you need to advance into the workforce.  Or into higher education.  You have to be good in math.  And you have to be able to express yourself intelligibly both verbally and in writing.  This is what parents want for their kids.  To give them the best chance of succeeding in a high-tech world.

That’s all parents want from their education system.  And to do that they have to know what schools are good.  And what schools are not.  So they can improve the weaker schools.  Which would allow every child to have the best chance to succeed in the high-tech world.

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