Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Zealand Teachers prefer Mediocrity

New Zealand teachers are refusing to implement National standards whereby children will be tested at primary level. Steve Sailer writing about proficiency in English in Californian Schools has this to say

The history of educational plans in America is notoriously littered with broken dreams.

Unintended consequences predominate because the reigning dogma of the education industry—the intellectual equality of all students—is wrong. This obdurate refusal on the part of everybody who is anybody in the education business to admit publicly the manifold implications of some kids being smarter than others makes it difficult to get anything done in the real world.

Thus, for example, George W. Bush and Ted Kennedy got together in 2001 to pass the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, which mandates that by the 2013-2014 school year, every student in America’s public schools score on reading and math tests at the “proficient” level (roughly, a B+). This, I can assure you, won’t happen.

While back in New Zealand we have this stand off with teachers,where New Zealand Teachers prefer Mediocrity

Agree with the Government's education policy or not – and this newspaper happens to believe that parents should be able to get plain-English reports about their children's progress, and that the wider community, which funds state schools, should be able to tell which among them are best equipping young citizens for life – Mrs Tolley must be allowed to enact the policy on which National campaigned.

Perhaps one of this row's most disturbing aspects is the intimidation some teachers and principals who back national standards are feeling from those who don't. One 20-year veteran, in an email to the minister, said, for example, it was important she knew that not all principals "support the present frenzy against national standards ... Colleagues ... feel the same way but raising your head above the parapet in these times is a risky act".
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Teachers obviously need reminding that it is a government's prerogative – not a trade union's – to determine education policy. Mrs Tolley – admirably – wants to stop one in five children who leave school poorly equipped for tomorrow. Teachers are behaving like the worst of their pupils who can't get their own way. They should grow up.

Teachers are deliberately setting low goals to stop primary school pupils failing and some principals are hiding poor academic results from boards of trustees, a government report reveals.

The Education Review Office will issue a report today that shows some teachers and principals are ignoring achievement data for year 1 and 2 pupils that does not show positive results. In some cases the information has not been given to boards of trustees and parents.

The report, which looked at 212 schools, focused on how effectively reading and writing were taught in the first two years, how well principals and boards set and monitored achievement expectations and how these were shared with parents.

It comes as the Government prepares to introduce its national standards in primary schools, which will assess pupils from years 1 to 8 in reading, writing and maths.

A parent comments as follows;
My girls are year 5 and 8, the last two weeks they have been in wind-down mode at school, or stuffing around. The school has put in new fancy projectors in all classrooms, well the kids watch movies all the time. Teachers have "non contact time" each week, so a day a week they have a temp. teacher. There is no standards or expectations, so why are our kids not preforming, no standards or expectations to meet. The teachers and principals are scared of standards, because it will expose their own standard and ability. Just like they hated bulk funding, it exposed the teachers who were not up to the job.


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