This is what happens without standards

He was starting work with us, given a standard contract, told to take it home to read it and bring it back next day to sign it.

He said he couldn’t read.

The contract was read to him. He was asked if he understood it, had any questions or concerns. He said yes and no.

He was asked if he was happy to sgin it or would he prefer to take it home to have his parents or someone else read it.

He said no, he didn’t need to take it home but he couldn’t sign it because he couldn’t write.

National Standards alone won’t ensure every school leaver can read, write and do maths adequately, but at least it will ensure that schools and parents know about it and give them time to do something about it long before those who are struggling leave school.

7 Responses to This is what happens without standards

  1. alex Masterley says:

    I agree with your last comment.
    Standards will identify people who would otherwise slip through the net at an early stage and allow remedial action to be taken.
    Your example shows what happens when there are no defined standards.

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  2. Psycho Milt says:

    This would be relevant if schools were failing to identify people who can’t read and write. They’re not. They know who needs attention, the issue is with resourcing that attention. Seeing as neither Tolley nor Key has said anything about how to resolve that, we can look on their standards blather as just another unnecessary layer of expensive bureaucracy in the interests of being seen to be doing something.

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  3. Gooner says:

    Milt, I agree with the bureacracy layer thingy.

    But this is nothing to do with schools. It’s got all to do with parents.

    Struth, my kids could read, write and spell before they started school. It starts, and ends, in the home. The more reliance we place on others, including schools, the less better off we will all become.

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  4. gravedodger says:

    My father gained his “Matriculation” certificate in 1916 from a small country school on Banks Peninsula and I always understood that to be the equivalent to the university entrance I achieved some 40 years later. Dad told me he only achieved it because he had an amazing teacher for the last 5 years of his formal schooling. He and his sister had to hand milk a small herd of dairy cows before school, deliver the milk to the local factory on their way to school, and then milk them again at night. He never had the opportunity to take education to another level but he could express himself very well both written and oral, had great numeracy skills and a love of the written word that lasted till his old body gave up in his ninetys.
    His father was an alcoholic carpenter, absent more often than not and his mother had crippling arthritis, they leased the farm to have somewhere to live.
    I guess the point I am trying to make is that home life need not be a barrier to progress but hard work and a great tutor can bring success to an ordinary child, his assessment not mine.
    As I understand the Governments policy here, they have earmarked funding to be applied to identified children who need make up assistance to reach the ‘standard’
    If the NZEI puppetmasters are so entrenched in their opposition then there is more than likely some thing they are afraid of politically rather than any other good reason to delay this empowerment of parents move.

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  5. pdm says:

    My mother left school at age 12 to help her mother look after her younger siblings – she was the oldest of 13.

    She could read and write and her grammar and spelling were good as was her comprehension.

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  6. homepaddock says:

    Milt: Anne Tolley has said: “The Government is spending $36 million over four years to support schools which have identified students who need more support, and $26 million to provide training and support for teachers, principals and boards of trustees to help with the implementation of Standards.”

    It’s in a media release here: http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/national+standards+introduced+today

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  7. gravedodger says:

    I am not sure Psyco Milt wants to know that HP, he would rather attack the view of those who consider 20% of our young ending their formal education without sufficient skills to survive in the real world as unacceptable,without offering his solution to what is a national disgrace.

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