More teaching time, not more measurement, teachers say – NZEI

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Imposing further measurement of children’s progress on the shaky foundation of controversial National Standards is bad policy and bad for children, NZEI Te Riu Roa says.

Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced yesterday Cabinet had decided primary schools must measure progress as well as achievement, especially for children who aren’t succeeding.

NZEI President Lynda Stuart says over-assessment of children as young as five is already a significant worry for teachers and parents, and impacts negatively on children’s learning.

“Teachers already regularly assess children’s learning. Imposing requirements to do it more, and across more subject areas, is likely to lead to over-assessment for children, more workload for teachers and less time for teaching and learning.”

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A recent has found increased anxiety in children as a result of National Standards. A survey of primary and intermediate schools by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research shows 63 per cent of teachers agreed, or strongly agreed, that anxiety about National Standards performance had negatively affected some students’ learning, up from 41 per cent in 2013.

“Any attempt by the government to make the computer tool, PaCT, mandatory or to link student progress to school funding or teacher pay will be strongly resisted by teachers,” Lynda Stuart says. “Instead of more measurement, the shonky National standards should be scrapped and Government should focus its energy and resources on increasing support to schools to help children with learning and behavioural needs.”