Wednesday, May 27, 2009

National Standards - First Impressions

Our new governments focus and development of national standards - what does one think?
I think to benchmark national standards or expectations if you like in foundational learning areas of literacy and numeracy is positive. It takes away variance between schools and clearly states where for example students should be reading at the end of a particular year level. This then allows consistency around reporting to parents. I believe schools have been quite exclusive in the language and terminology they use, it is often not easy for parents to understand what is written in an end of year report or discussed at a 3 way conference.

I guess the area that people are feeling anxious about is what assessment means are going to be used to determine where students fall in regards to the national standards. National testing opens a whole other 'can of worms!' one where countries such as the UK have learnt that standards, testing and league tables have shown no increase in student outcomes.

The draft material appears non specific with broad outcomes mentioned. The material presents it's self quite similar to the national exemplars developed some years prior. I am looking forward to the meeting on the 8th of June to find out more. I remain open minded about it all at this stage.

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