National Standards were introduced last week. Sadly the teaching profession was absent from the celebrations, not because they weren't invited, but more to do with their frustration at the process and based on the empirical evidence that they won't improve student achievement. While the process around the excellent new curriculum has seen it richly embedded into schools, through a lengthy consultation and implementation process, National Standards are being introduced on a much quicker scale. For us at Muritai, I feel very calm about things. We are self-managing, have good processes, our kids achieve well, they are well resourced, and we report to parents in writing about student achievement in regards to below, at or above twice a year. Any change? Well yes - and it is all to do with creating a them and us atmosphere between government and parents and the teachers. It will be a test of leadership to keep a handle on this potentially difficult situation which has changed the education landscape that was progressing so nicely under Labour on the back of John Hattie's and Helen Timperley, BES and others excellent research. The focus on developing quality teaching environments, on the back of assessment for learning, has now shifted to accountability processes based on assessment of learning. While we are currently highly regarded internationally for our education processes we seem to have adopted systems that most mid-ranked countries employ which only serve to achieve longevity of politicians careers.
I particularly enjoyed reading this article from the New Zealand Herald; one of the very few media articles to reflect on the school's side of the fence.
New Zealand Herald editorial