NATIONAL standards did not have moderation procedures built in to ensure schools were all measuring achievement at the same level, Gisborne principals say.
Mr Ferris, who is also Ilminster Intermediate’s principal, said national standards data on the Ministry of Education website was inconsistent.
“Why would you publish something if school “A” assesses its students using one method and school “B” another?”
“It’s comparing apples to oranges — which is bananas.
“There are so many things wrong with the league table. It is a waste of time, money and energy.”
“We cannot assume every Year 7 student is operating at the same level as everyone else. That is not reality.”
East Coast School Principals Association chairwoman Sue Ngarimu-Goldsmith hopes the publication of national standards data will be recognised by parents, caregivers, whanau and community as being only a small amount of information about schools.
“Families need to take the time to visit schools, talk to teachers and principals, and read ERO reports before making judgements regarding the effectiveness of a school or kura.
“Each school and kura is unique — they all have their curriculum priorities, areas of strength and challenges to navigate.”
Mrs Ngarimu-Goldsmith said to compare schools solely through the data was simplistic and threatened to undermine the “rich and holistic” New Zealand curriculums.
“They may very well happen if schools and kura narrow their learning and teaching programmes, in order to improve their reading, writing and mathematics data, at the expense of the arts, sciences, technology, physical education and health.”
Schools and kura strive continually for improved achievement and this could be best achieved through positive and engaging learning partnerships with students and their whanau, not through the publication of league tables, she said.
Tairawhiti Area and Secondary School Principals Association chairman Paul McGuinness said national standards was a new system that did not have moderation procedures built in to ensure schools were all measuring achievement at the same level.
“We rely on teacher professionalism for this. We know that with NCEA it has taken 10 years for communities to accept the reliability and validity of the information given, and this has been achieved with a huge amount of professional learning and development for staff.”