The Government scrapping the National Standards, means Bay of Plenty schools will no longer be required to use the reporting system this year.
Organisations like Stuff had their last chance yesterday to release a full set of National Standards academic results publicly showing each primary and intermediate school National Standards in reading, writing and maths.
Stuff Projects Editor John Hartevelt, who led the creation of the Stuff School Report site in 2012, says The Labour Party was always likely to dump them and now they’re leading a coalition government.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins, who announced the scrapping in Decemeber, said parents and teachers had lost confidence in the "narrow policy" that he called "nothing more than a compliance exercise".
National Standards were introduced by the National Government in 2010, aimed at informing parents about how well their child was doing in reading, writing and maths compared to their peers.
Hipkins said the policy turned out to be a "major distraction to schools".
He said schools and kura will still be required to report to parents at least twice a year on their child’s progress and achievement, especially in maths, reading and writing.
“It will be up to schools to decide how they deliver that reporting. And schools won’t need to provide the Education Ministry with the annual summary of National Standards results, including a breakdown by gender and ethnicity, which we publish on School Report,” says John.
The Education Review Office will carry on visiting, checking and publishing reports about schools and thr National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement, run by Otago University, will take more of the weight of measuring the overall academic achievement of primary and intermediate-aged school kids.
A New Zealand Council for Educational Research survey in 2016 found 82 per cent of parents and whānau agreed or strongly agreed they understood the National Standards information in their child’s school report.
The same proportion agreed the school was helping their child make progress against the standards.
“But the vague talk of big National Standards data helping to decide policy and spending priorities never quite cut it,” says John.
“Many teachers seemed to resent them. Some principals understandably worried about how they might be used against them and their school. And expert opinion ranged from bitterly opposed to dissatisfied, or wary.”
“In the end, the Education Ministry’s acting deputy secretary Pauline Cleaver is correct to say the ERO reports (despite all their euphemisms) ‘provide a much more comprehensive picture of the quality of local schools than did National Standards data.”
-Additional reporting from Stuff