Govt must stop demanding schools report on National Standards

The Education Minister must stop demanding schools report on National Standards and immediately stop collecting data for league tables following evidence that the standards are completely unreliable, the Green Party says.

The Ministry of Education’s latest review of National Standards results today found that the basis of National Standards reporting – the Overall Teacher Judgments (OTJ) made about the level children were performing at – ‘‘strongly suggest the OTJ’s  lack dependability,” and it found that less than half of National Standards reports to parents were even understandable.

“The findings that 60 percent of National Standards results in maths are inaccurate is a massive fail for the Government’s flagship education programme,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“Parents have been complaining for a long time that the National Standards reports they get once or twice a year don’t make sense to them, now they know that most of the results are actually wrong.

“There could be enormous consequences for individual children and for schools, of their ability being incorrectly assessed. The Government must stop demanding schools report on National Standards, and cease collecting the data on them for league tables, which parents and the community are using to judge the effectiveness of schools.

“Today’s report follows years of concerns about the reliability of National Standards and the fact the Government has been using them as the sole measure success of a child, their teacher and their  school.

“A whole generation of children have been educated under National Standards, despite all these concerns. It would be irresponsible to continue to use and collect the data when such serious concerns have been raised about its accuracy and reliability.

“Now we know the Government was wrong to tell parents to rely on National Standards results, both for information about their child’s progress and in many cases even decisions about where to send their kids to school.

“Government should have been listening to parents when they said National Standards reports didn’t make sense, and listening to teachers that National Standards were damaging children’s education,” Ms Delahunty said.