Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Most National Standards data published - but not all

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A handful of schools are holding out on releasing National Standards to the Minister of Education as the first round of data is made public.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said about 188 schools had not yet provided the date required under National Standards.

While the majority of those were still putting the data together, she said about 25 were "having difficulty complying" - indicating the schools were withholding it in an apparent boycott.

Ms Parata said there were sanctions to try to force those schools to hand over their results, but dealing with those schools was an operation matter for the Ministry of Education.

"Here's the thing - schools are Crown entities, they are not secret societies. They are public institutions, funded by public money to do the public job of raising achievement. This information is therefore public information."

The results of more than 2000 schools were put on the Ministry's Education Counts websitetoday.

Ms Parata said league tables were not realistic, because there was no national test as other countries' had.

She said while parents could not look at the results of a school, that should not take the place of visiting a school and talking to teachers to assess how good it was and whether their child was doing well.

She said the first round of data was simply a baseline by which to assess future progress by.

New Zealand Educational Institute president Ian Leckie said the Government had to backtrack on increasing class sizes and was struggling with its plans to close and merge some schools in Christchurch.

"It has failed on class sizes, it is failing in Christchurch and now it has failed to bring any intelligent debate to lifting student achievement.

"It is a vote-catching attempt to ramp up support after a series of failures.''

Mr Leckie said the national standards data showed there was a correlation between low decile schools and student achievement.

He says the only good to come out of the publication of the data was to show the education sector was right in its opposition to unreliable and unmoderated data being released.

Labour's education spokeswoman Nanaia Mahuta also criticised the release of the data.

"Releasing data that even the Prime Minister has described as 'ropey' and inconsistent, and that shows an 'average' only across a narrow range of subjects, is hardly best practice. It doesn't help inform parents on how well their children are performing. Teachers do that,'' she said.

- NZ Herald

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