Teachers wary of national standards

A report from the New Zealand Council for Educational Research has found the majority of principals and teachers either oppose or are very cautious about the idea of nationally-prescribed standards of achievement for school pupils.

The report, titled Curriculum changes, priorities and issues, showed more than half of the primary principals were strongly against the idea, with only 10% in favour, and 32% of primary teachers were also opposed, with 13% in favour.

The pattern was similar in secondary schools, but the proportion of principals who gave an unqualified "no" to the idea was smaller, and a quarter of secondary teachers were in favour of national standards, the survey showed.

About a third of board of trustees members questioned in the survey supported national standards but other trustees were cautious and said their support would depend on how the standards were measured and how the information was used.

The survey also asked parents what they thought about the information they received about their child's progress.

Two-thirds of parents of primary-aged children rated the information as very good, but 42% wanted even more information.

"The most common request made by nearly three-quarters of these parents, or 37% of all parents, was to know how my child is achieving compared with others at the same year level," the report said.


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