Public achievement information released yesterday showed 124 primary schools in Otago posted the highest percentage of pupils who were at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.
In reading, 83.6% of pupils were at or above National Standards, 78.9% were at or above the standards in mathematics, and 76.4% were at or above the standards in writing.
Otago Primary Principals’ Association chairwoman Stephanie Madden said most principals had reservations about National Standards, but they were delighted with the data.
”These results are confirmation that the quality of teaching and learning in Otago primary schools is of a very high standard.
”We’re very proud of the hard work that teachers, principals and boards of trustees put in to ensure our children receive the best possible education.” . . .
And isn’t it good that there’s a way to measure the results of all that hard work?
. . . Secondary Principals’ Association president Tom Parsons said parents had been asking for detailed information about their child’s learning for a long time.
“Primary schools will get there with national standards but they’re doing it begrudgingly.
“There’s a political agenda here and it’s doing the youth of New Zealand a disservice. They need to get real.” . . .
There is a political agenda and it’s putting unions’ interests ahead of the needs of children and their parents.
Ms Parata says the Public Achievement Information released today is evidence that moves by the Government, reflected in the work of those in the education system, is making a real difference in educational achievement.
“From early childhood education through to NCEA achievement we’re seeing meaningful progress. It all adds up to kids who will be coming out of our education system with better qualifications and much brighter prospects.
“Providing this information at district and regional levels is leading to a wider engagement by communities in our education challenges.
“Fifteen of our 16 regional council areas had increases from 2011 to 2013 in achievement against National Standards, including gains for Māori students in 14 of those 16 areas.
”More than 400,000 primary kids had their progress assessed in reading, writing and maths last year, and around three quarters were at or above National Standards.
“The continuing focus on achievement and use of good information is paying off because it helps identify the kids who are not doing as well as we want.
“Parents and schools never used to have this sort of very specific information, and now they’re using it to make sure that the kids get what they need when they need it. . .
That’s the point – information on how children are progressing enables schools and parents to help them.
The system isn’t perfect but it’s better than no system and it will get better.