Tolley upset at paper on standards

By Audrey Young

Education Minister Anne Tolley is to complain to the Speaker Lockwood Smith over a Parliamentary Library research paper on national standards in primary schools.

Mrs Tolley said the paper was "unprofessional", "highly political" and so biased it could have been written by the union opposing the policy.

Mrs Tolley wants the paper withdrawn and rewritten.

Library researchers frequently produce papers on topics of the day, on the economy and legislation before the House.

They are displayed in the library, in the Beehive cafeteria and some are available on Parliament's website.

The paper on national standards says:

*"Schools may not have time and sufficient professional development support to become familiar with the national standards."

*"Students assessed as not achieving could lose motivation for learning, affecting their achievement."

*"Schools and teachers will need professional development assistance and support that may not be adequately provided for under the standards."

*"The standards have been designed and implemented in a short time frame that has not allowed a trial to determine whether they have been set at the correct level."

*"[League table information] does not help parents make an informed choice on what is a good school to send their child [to] and ends up unfairly labelling some schools."

Mrs Tolley said the Ministry of Education was contacted in the preparation of the paper.

It asked to see a final draft of the paper but that did not happen.

"I just don't think it should contain any opinion of the researcher. I've never seen anything like it," she said.

- NZ Herald

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