Friday, January 22, 2010

National Standards Debate .- let's follow Scotland!

Chris Hipkins labour member for Rimataka speech in Parliament against National Standards.

I had trouble uploading the video but you can check out the video on the ASCD Express newsletter.

'This bill is nothing more than a desperate attempt by the new National Government to come up to the fact that they have no new ideas on how to address underachievement in our schools', says Hipkins.'This bill will narrowly focus the education system on teaching kids a very, very narrow range of knowledge. The teachers will have to teach to the tests rather than teaching to the curriculum, it will grow the gap between the achievement rates of students of rich schools and the students of poor schools.'

The video is well worth a listen to.

To add a little more to the debate read what a New Zealand teacher sent me as a comment to my Alfie Kohns blog.

We should be following the role of Scotland not the backward paths of the UK and the US both who do worse than NZ in international tests. 'I am currently visiting my home town of Edinburgh and as I did my degree at Edinburgh University and was educated in Scotland I have been very interested to catch up with friends and discuss the revised Scottish Curriculum and the general stance here regarding National Testing.

I have been very interested to learn that National Tests are being abandonned in Edinburgh at the end of this school year so next year there will be no more National Testing here. I have had informal discussions about the stress that National Testing places on teachers, students and parents and have observed that there is huge pressure to prepare children for these tests and at times children can be put in for a test before all learning at a level is consolidated or even covered because the program is prescriptive and there is such pressure to achieve good results.

I am so pleased that National Tests are on their way out here and think that Scotland is demonstrating their understanding of the need for change in education through the Curriculum for Excellence and how this kind of curriculum cannot function effectively with imposed National Standards'.


Anonymous said...

I agree fully with your ( and others) stand against the political imposition of national standards. Populist politics of the worst kind - simply following failed, but popular, conservative ideology. I aslo agree with the position taken by Scotland.

For all this do you think the schools have the leadership, or courage, to take a position against the standards or will they compromise or simply comply?

Bruce Hammonds said...

We wait and see. If there was ever a time to show some philosophical courage now is the time! Creative education hangs in the balance.