Friday, August 29, 2014

Educational Readings - ADHD/ John Dewey/ McDonaldisation of education and the NZ elections

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This weeks homework!

 Equipped for the Future

As good as riding with no hands!
Continuing down the Common Core road with ELA standards that focus primarily on selective and specialized literacy skills instead of broad-based, applicable, and transferable literacy skills, make as much sense as the US Education Department announcing a new initiative to improve U.S. bike riding skills by mandating that all children learn to ride a bike without the use of training wheels, and declaring the new National Standard for being a proficient and globally competitive bike rider isNO HANDS.

Deskfree strategy turns classrooms into creative learning hubs that see student engagement soar
Another article on Stephen Heppell inspired developments in Australia.
Teachers, parents and students across the state have been briefed by Professor Heppell, a global expert in learning spaces who claims students learn more effectively and behave better within borderless learningdesigns; when they have freedom to work in smaller groups and even learn standing up.

( It is not often I comment on Allan's selections but I am concerned that people are too easily impressed with the superficiality of these 'modern learning environments' (MLE) . When I visit such schools I like to see the in.depth thinking that has resulted from working in such environments - all too often missing. It is all a bit like the open plan environments of the 70s with computers replacing listening posts and OHPs! Bruce)

Teaching Is Not a Business
While technology can be put to good use by talented teachers, they, and not the futurists, must take the lead. The process of teaching and learning is an intimate act that neither computers nor markets can hope to replicate. Small wonder, then, that the business model hasnt worked in reforming the schools there is simply no substitute for the personal element.

How We Think: John Dewey on the Art of Reflection and Fruitful Curiosity in an Age of Instant Opinions and Information Overload
Dewey examines what separates thinking, a basic human faculty we take for granted, from thinking well, what it takes to train ourselves into mastering the art of thinking, and how we can channel our natural curiosity in a productive way when confronted with an overflow of information.

The Rise of the Helicopter Teacher
The risk that helicopter parents run is that they will raise children so coddled that they have a hard time functioning on their own in the larger world. So too with the way we have infantilized our students. Afraid or unwilling to challenge them, we pass them through with perfectly good grades but without much of a sense of how to work on their own or think for themselves.

How A Popular TV Doc Has Learned To Explain ADHD Simply
Implications for teachers?
ADHD is like having a Ferrari engine for a brain with bicycle brakes. Strengthen the brakes and you have a champion.  People with ADHD are the inventors and the innovators, the movers and the doers, the dreamers who built America.

The McDonaldization of Education: the rise of slow

In regards to education, McDonaldization attempts to wipe out any of the messiness or inefficiencies of learning. Instead, it attempts to reduce it to a commodity that can be packaged,
marketed and sold. Rather than cultivating a deep, holistic love of learning that touches every aspect of a students life, learning has been reduced to an assembly line. In reality, weve imposed a mechanistic view of life onto how people learn, which is largely an organic process, and at a great cost.

Teaching Critical Thinking in Age of Digital Credulity
Dewey would agree

Now, the enormity, ubiquity and dubious credibility of the information available to most of the worlds population is requiring each of us to become something of an expert on figuring out when were being misled or lied to. Perhaps, unfortunately, for the future of life online, few teachers or parents impart to young people the always useful but now essential skills of how to question, investigate, analyze and judge that link they just got in email or the factual claim they just found through a search engine.

This weeks contributions from
Bruce Hammonds:

The New Zealand Election coming soon!!

 If you were to listen to some politicians you would think the sky is falling in but New Zealand education is in good heart. I was particularly impressed with his positive experience of secondary education. Well worth a read.

T.he Labour Manifesto’s education policy of the time made it clear what was expected in education and when elected Peter Fraser, Minister Of Education, asked the Director of 
Peter Fraser and Michael Savage
Education Dr Beeby
 to rewrite the then Ministry of Education report to the new government to capture his ideas. Overnight Beeby wrote the following principle:

‘…that every person whatever his level of academic ability, whether rich or poor, whether he lives in the town or the country, has a right as a citizen to a free education of the kind best fitted and to the fullest extent of his power……(and that this ) will involve the reorientation of the education system.’

Important choice coming soon!

It’s time for all people share in the apparent growing wealth of the few – the disparity between the rich and the poor is still growing. In schools the government talks about an ‘achievement gap’ , ignoring the effects of growing poverty and sees the solution as developing ‘super’ principals, cluster principals and lead teachers as the answer – such people obviously chosen because of their adherence to National’s policies – National Standards


Friday, August 22, 2014

Educational Readings - for the critical educator

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This weeks homework!

Rational And Evidence-Based Responses To Standards Advocates And Critics
This article will provide you with a valuable tool to support all those debates you are having  with pro-GERMers!

A practical logic problem also exists for those advocating or criticizing standards: If I am teaching, my job is to identify where any student is in her/his learning and then to take that student farther, both in terms of direct teaching and by motivating that student to learn. That fact of real-world teaching renders detailed standards irrelevant because it doesnt matter what a standard deems any student should know and when since the reality of that student supersedes those mandates.

Whats the real purpose of educational benchmarking?
Very good article by Andy Hargreaves:

Andy Hargreaves
Is there a second purpose of educational benchmarking then? Is it to delineate the weak from the strong, inciting nation to compete against nation, Americans against Asians, and school against school. After we have pinpointed schools that are failing, does this just make it easier for invading opportunists to set up charter schools in their place, or to market online alternatives, tutoring services and the like?

Standardized Testing
The Opposite of Excellence
Another excellent blog by Peter Greene:

When they talk about highly effective teachers and excellent schools and proficient students, all they are talking about is the scores on a standardized math and reading test. That's it.

8 Needs For Project-Based Learning In The 21st Century (thanks Tony Gurr)

To seek- use- and create
We tend to think of project-based learning as focused on research, planning problem-solving, authenticity, and inquiry. Further, collaboration, resourcefulness, and networking matter toodozens of characteristics fitinto project-based learning. Its popularity comes from, among other characteristics, its general flexibility as a curriculum framework. You can do, teach, assess, and connect almost anything within the context of a well-designed project.

Let's Stop Trying To Teach Students Critical Thinking

Socrates - so what is new?
The philosopher most associated with the critical spirit is Socrates. In the 1980s, Australian philosopher John Anderson put the Socratic view of education most clearly when he wrote: "The Socratic education begins with the awakening of the mind to the need for criticism, to the uncertainty of the principles by which it supposed itself to be guided.”’

Never Again! Now The Evidence Is Irrefutable
And this includes education
Read how three separate groups have taken over American education, then use this to analyse the situation in your own country. Are there any similarities?

Finally, each group attempting to destroy or reform public education and access the tax dollars citizens pay for public schools, violates some or all of the tenets that guide the education profession. What are some of these tenets?

Reformers Standardize Teachers Individualize

Only in the field of education do we find The Professional completely superfluous. Much has been made of the publics disregard for teachers: the idea that since youve graduated high school, you
Forced standardisation.
know what it means to be a teacher. You dont. You dont get a teaching certification digging around in a Crackerjack box. People earn genuine college degrees in this many of them get masters and doctorates. Those degrees even require you to go out and do some actual teaching! Let me assure you, none of it entails reminiscing about your old high school days and all the teachers who were mean to you.

Shifting The Point Of View
How to best develop the use of technology in education?

Technology is advancing too fast and its effects on society for today and future are observed clearly by many institutions and they are changing themselves accordingly. Unfortunately educational institutions can not follow them since they are the most resistant ones to change. Most of the schools who are having their technology transformation nowadays are only changing their shop windows. A deeper and more realistic change can not happen until they really shift their perspective from technology to pedagogy.

This weeks contributions

The Science Behind Classroom Norming

Bruces comment:Use this primer on the five stages of norming to establish a positive classroom community.
Does the norming process take time? Yes, but when students share important values, beliefs, and goals, they accomplish more. Dont trust me. Trust the science.

The 5 Critical Categories of Rules
On a Similar theme:

Regardless of whether a school is open and free or traditional, limits or rules are necessary to teach students responsibility. I have identified five areas that I call critical categories which are useful when deciding what rules you need. Because rules work best when students have a say in their selection, I prefer teaching students what these critical categories mean, and developing rules together.

Back to School: A Surefire Strategy for Building Classroom Community
And another - back to school time must be approaching in the USA!

‘… this post does not address anything related to technology or the CCSS. It addresses a topic of much greater importance -- the emotional environment of the classroom. Without an excellent, intentionally designed, emotional environment (one which builds authentic community in the classroom), the standards and the technologies are of little value. As Steven Covey and many others have said, "First things first!”’

20 Things Educators Need To Know About Digital Literacy Skills
Bruces comment: Something to think about even for those who struggle with digital technology.

Teaching digital literacy is about more than just integrating technology into lesson plans; its about using technology to understand and enhance modern communication, to locate oneself in digital space, to manage knowledge and experience in the Age of Information.

Difficult Discussions Are The Most Important Discussions
Bruces comment: Making difficult decisions before your train goes off the track!

The best way to prevent a train from heading down the wrong track is candid discussions about the facts and clarity around why the journey should happen. But we need to do a better job at having those tough discussions earlier in the process.

Universal Design for Learning: A Blueprint for Successful Schools
Bruces comment: An excellent 18 minute TED Talk - lessons from flying a jet - personalised talent based learning. A very simple message.

Teachers confront this challenge with every lesson, activity, and course as they acknowledge that no
Customizing pilot cockpits
two students learn the same way. With the added pressure to address standards, integrate technology, and prepare students with 21st Century Skills, consider the potential if school leaders could offer teachers a single strategy that would address all of their studentsneeds. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) does just that.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Educational Readings - so called ed research/ Finland/ Educ myths/ Corporate takeover!

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem,
 email it to me at

This weeks homework!

A Big Problem with Ed Research
If this article is accurate (and theres no reason to suspect otherwise) then the basis of Hatties mega-analysis research may have been severely undermined.

It means that very likely a great deal of what's passed off as research-based knowledge is information that has never been checked, the result of just one piece of research. Imagine if you were seriously ill and your doctor said, "Well, there's this one treatment that only one guy did only this one time, and he thought it turned out well.'

Revisiting Content And Direct Instruction
This is a very important article about the battle for education in America (and applicable elsewhere) over the last century. The seeds of todays problems were sown a long time ago, and survive, in spite of visionaries such as Dewey and Freire.

Before diving into the content and direct instruction debates, I want to address what is really going on. You dont have to read George Orwell or Ray Bradbury to know this (although you should*), but the powerful in any society recognize that those who control knowledge (and language is knowledge) ultimately control everything. Thus, to codify what is known, what counts as knowledge, and what facts mean is to establish power.

A Conversation On Lessons From Finland
More from Pasi Sahlberg, this time in conversation with an Australian educator. Very applicable all over, especially in the usual five Anglo-Saxon dominated countries.

Your question about the value of PISA is like asking what do you think about fire! They are both useful and can benefit our lives significantly if we know how to deal with them. Unfortunately PISA is often like a box of matches in the hands of a child. PISA certainly has had negative consequences in some places where it has taken the drivers seat in determining priorities in national education policies. There are a number of countries now (including Australia) that have formulated their goals in education to be on the top of the global league tables. An over-reliance on reaching such targets, by insisting that schools and teachers focus on a narrow area of academic achievement at the expense of broader learning and personal development goals, may have worrying effects later on.

The Time is Now
An article by Dr Robert Valiant, sourced from the US website Defend-Ed.

I have been doing a little reading on one of my true loves, brain research, and would like to take a moment to say that rapid growth in the field is producing astounding findings that are important to those of us in the brain business, teaching and learning. I am, of course, dismayed by the current education reform efforts, most of which appear to be diametrically opposed to the new research findings. I won't go into detail here, but even on the macro level the predatory reformers have it wrong.

Manufactured education
Another blog posting from UK academic Steve Wheeler:

And yet standardisation, synchonisation and centralisation stubbornly persist in a few notable enclaves. Perhaps the most notorious resistance to the technological wave comes from the state
education systems. And:

The factory model of education persists, because in the mind of its proponents, it is still the most efficient, cost effective way to train the workforce of the future. And yet, according to critics such as Sir Ken Robinson, this is not the way forward. In a recent speech, Robinson intoned: "We still educate children by batches. We put them through the system by age group. Why do we do that? Why is there an assumption that the most important thing kids have in common is their date of manufacture?”’

Education As Great EqualizerDeforming Myth, Not Reality
A very comprehensive article that debunks the neoliberal myth that education is the solution to poverty.

So, you are 2.5x more likely to be a rich adult if you were born rich and never bothered to go to
college than if you were born poor and, against all odds, went to college and graduated. The disparity in the outcomes of rich and poor kids persists, not only when you control for college attainment, but even when you compare non-degreed rich kids to degreed poor kids!

Growth Mindset The Holy Grail Of Education?

The author of mindset theory, Carol Dweck, cited neuroscience research that examined brain activity of students when receiving feedback. Students were asked various questions and then told whether they were right or wrong. If they were wrong, they were also told what the correct answer was. Pretty much every students brains were active when being told whether they were right or wrong but only growth mindset studentsbrains remained active to hear what the correct answer was if they had made a mistake."

Ranking and Sorting: The Sordid History of Standards and Tests
Very important article by Anthony Cody, which will give you the essential understanding of the whole testing and standards movement. Its not nice.

One of my heroes was the late Stephen Jay Gould, who devoted his life to exploring and explaining the intricacies of evolution. In his book, The Mismeasure of Man, he reveals the roots of standardized testing in the work of Lewis Terman, who brought to us the first widely applied tests, building on the work of Binet, who had pioneered intelligence tests for inductees into the Army during World War 1.
This scienceof measurement was also connected to a movement called eugenics.It was seen as undesirable for the less intelligent to reproduce, since their offspring would be inferior, and thus a burden to society. And there were heavy racial implications as well.

This weeks contributions from

6 Things You Should Know About The Future
Bruce: The futures not what it used to be!!

Thats the funny thing about the future.  Its never as fantastic as we hope nor as horrible as we
fear.  The one thing thats for sure is that times will change and we will have to adapt. While there is no way of knowing exactly how that change will play out, we can identify trends, make common sense judgments about where they lead and prepare for them.

Why phonetic spelling isn't effective
GERMers seem to love phonics as the solution to everything (e.g State of New South Wales in Australia). They obviously havent read Frank Smith.

However, it seems to me, that those people who want phonetic spelling have not thought through all the problems that would be created by it. The problem is that different people pronounce some words differently and so would spell them differently phonetically. Amongst people who speak English there are many different types of accents and thus pronunciations.

15 Things Every Teacher Needs from a Principal
Bruces comment:Seems an insightful list to me.

Principalshipentails many things, but at its core, it isand has always beenabout building trusting relationships. We may balance the budget and successfully maintain the building; we may ensure that teachers have the necessary resources and all the professional development opportunities in the worldbut if we fail to build trusting relationships, what good are balanced budgets, SMARTclassrooms, one-for-one programs, and squeaky clean amenities?

From Bruces oldies but goodies file:

The corporate takeover of society and education.
This is the GERM that needs to be challenged the key issue of the upcoming NZ election. One of Bruce's most popular blogs.

As part of the corporate strategy was the demeaning the teaching profession through finger pointing and blaming them for student failure while at the same time ignoring the effects of poverty
on student achievement. The market forces  corporate ideology places value on hardnosed economic growth and demonizes teachers and schools as failing students and being stuck in the past. To reform this seemingly failing situation a standardised model has been implemented which has resulted in a one dimensional approach to education with success being determined and measured by narrow literacy and numeracy levels in primary school and NZCEA levels in secondary.

Another expert on teacher quality? Disruptive or dangerous?
While this article is about New Zealand, it discusses a problem common to all GERM countries, and also the OECD, where economists feel qualified to comment on education and teacher quality. Dangerous.

No one would challenge Makhlouf's assertion that education is the key to economic success but how one defines achievement ( in a narrow literacy / numeracy sense, or the development of
student's talent and gifts) needs debating. And as for Makhloufs enthusiasm for performance pay, once again, this depends on what is counted as achievement. Performance pay has had a checkered career in the US. Makhlouf , being an economist, believes it is all about collecting data to measure success. Simplistic stuff - important learning  attributes defy easy measurement.

Basing education around student inquiry.
Bruces comment: This popular blog  outlines a discovery approach NZ creative teachers at all levels are aware of.

Well-executed PBL begins with the recognition that, as in the real world, its often difficult to
distinguish between acquiring information and using it. Students learn knowledge and elements of the core curriculum, but also apply what they know to solve authentic problems and produce results that matter. Students focus on a problem or challenge, work in teams to find a solution to the problem, and often exhibit their work to an adult audience at the end of the project.

The Blue School

The Blue School in Lower Manhattan was established by members of the Blue Sky Company -a company involved in helping organisations develop creative ideas.They wanted to establish a school
that celebrated the creativity and ideas of children - they wanted to establish a school they would have liked to have gone to - a dream school for their own children. They wanted school committed to keeping alive the sense of wonder, play and joy of young children. The school currently caters for children from 2 to 6. The ideas will not be new to creative teachers, particularly those that 'teach' younger children but their emphasis on making student inquiry central is a challenge to us all in these day of making literacy and numeracy achievement central.

This weeks contributions from Phil Cullen

A History of Blanket Testing
This is a powerful article from Phil that discusses his experience of Minimum Competency Testing in the USA in 1980. You will notice that apart from a change of name to common core standards, not much has changed. This is a must read.

Did I hear you say that things are different these days? Well. This is a personal account from back when. In 1980, I visited the USA and the UK for the express purpose of studying the Minimum Competency Movement in the USA and the Assessment of Performance Unit in the UK, both politically-produced ordurous reactions to the Back to Basics meme of the 1970s. The 70s standards debatehad been a vicious attack on schooling that was lasting far too long. In Australia, it was led by The Bulletinand one or two conspicuous non-teaching attention-grabbers in each state. It died in Australia as it deserved to do before the the educational dementia of national blanket testing set in. Not so in USA. Sad consequences there as reported below.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to school to see what really happens in the classroom – Nigel Latta

In recent years politicians from the ‘right’ have given the impression that our schools are failing – our current Minister is fond of saying ‘one in five of our children are failing’ and that the
introduction of National Standards will solve the situation.  ‘We so often hear stories about how standards have fallen,’ said Latta, ‘that you would be forgiven for thinking the sky has fallen in’.

With this in mind I was very curious about the conclusions Nigel Latta would come to after returning to school classrooms to see for himself. .

The two schools chosen to visit were Pakuranga College, a co-ed secondary school, and Point England, a low decile primary school. He wanted to get a grasp of how things like the basics were being taught.

What he found out was that schools were very different from his own school days.

 Today it is about helping students discover meaning while in his day, teachers had the ‘knowledge’ and they passed it on to their students.  Nigel reflected that he hated his own secondary schooling which ‘was boring. You sat down and shut up’. Nigel was to be very impressed with the involvement of students in their own learning during his class visits.

His first visit was to Pakuranga College.

 He wanted to find out about NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) which, even after a decade, many parents are still confused about. Many older parents sat School Certificate. Why had things changed? The principal, Michael Williams, answered by saying ‘with SC half the students failed’ and that in the past ‘school was a very effective sifting system and that NCEA changed the mold’.

So Nigel thought it might be fairer, but was it better? Prof Stuart McNaughton reported to Nigel ‘that NCEA gives a full picture of what a student can do….ranking exams like SC give a hard-nosed high stakes assessment…NCEA is fairer’.  The introduction of NCEA had changed the curriculum and the way things were taught, ‘education was once about replication today it is about problem solving’.

Nigel sat in a number of classrooms to see for himself, much to the amusement of the students.  His experience of Design Technology left him amazed when he observed students experiencing ‘
Maths lesson
a range of complex skills relevant to the real world.’
Sitting in on  physics  was another powerful lesson for Nigel as was English

He wondered if in this exploratory process was academic knowledge  being lost?

For an answer he turned to Prof John Hattie a world recognised authority on educational research. Nigel wanted to know how well we were doing in education and ‘why we are always led to believe there is a crisis?  Hattie replied that ‘fundamentally we have a very good system and this is entirely credited to the quality of the teaching profession’. This is in contrast to what some politicians tell us!

Prof Hattie told Nigel that ‘the purpose of education is to help students exceed their potential’ and that good teachers ‘care passionately to see something in their students’and added ‘luckily we have a lot of passionate teachers’.

Nigel sat in a maths lesson to see if students were being taught maths properly. The maths teacher explained that today maths is about learning strategies and that in the past, maths was about getting the right answer. In the past few people experienced mathematical thinking and as a result ended up hating maths. ‘Students need to play with maths to solve problems rather than follow procedures without understanding’. The students were learning and enjoying maths in a way that Nigel never experienced in his school days.

Another mind changing experience was physical education which Nigel, in his day, did his best to avoid. Today it is all about ‘fostering a joy in physical education’.

What about private schools? Do these schools provide a better education? John Hattie's research indicated ‘that they offer little advantage but it is what parents believe’.

John Hattie’s advice for parents selecting a school for their children is to walk around and see if the school is an inviting one; schools that focus on students learning in a safe environment.
Point England students

What about Maori and Pacifica kids – the kids who are lagging at the tail end’? What does being in a lower decile school mean? 

Many parents equate decile rating with the quality of learning in the school. ‘Is this true?’ wondered Nigel. John Hattie, if he had his way, would do away with the deciles. ‘They are criminal if seen by the parents as a proxy for quality. They have become league tables and this is  100% wrong. Some of the best schools are low decile schools.’

A culture of high expecataions
To explore this issue Nigel went to see for himself at Point England, a decile 1a primary school.

Russell Burt
The ten deciles are based on household incomes. Russell Burt, the school principal told Nigel that Point England students  ‘generally, at the age of five, enter school with an academic age of around three’.  'The average income of a decile 1a family  is $19,000 and the school provides  breakfast for a number of students whose parents can't afford a decent breakfast.'

Nigel’s first primary lesson was maths where he observed kids working in small groups solving problems. The teacher explained that as children worked at different levels they work collaboratively, making use of computers, helping each other; ‘kids are enjoying maths – it makes maths not such a big brick wall’.
Integrated technology

Point England is a school determined not to be defined by its decile level. Technology is integrated into all activities and the school is networked with 11 other schools, which Nigel thought ‘pretty amazing’.The whole community is linked with WIFI so children can learn at home.  Children have the opportunity to acquire their own digital device – something the parents wanted for their children and they contribute $3.50 a week do so.

Nigel was reassured by the principal that computers and group work do not come at the expense of ‘real’ learning. The school works closely with its parents who are supportive and know their children’s achievement levels and progress. Achievement levels have picked up with the introduction of digital devices, technology and open space learning. Technology has enabled the students to share in a way that it is hard to do with pencil and paper. Individuals can even learn with their computers in the holidays.

Point England is a school with high expectations – expectations the students have internalised.

 As an aside Nigel saw no behavioural issues and this he felt was because of the culture of learning they have built up – the ‘students are able to manage themselves’. It’s the culture, the expectations, the teachers, not the decile rating that makes the difference.

Nigel wished he had been a student at Point England School when he was a kid.

With regard to National Standards the school struggles despite enormous success. Students who start a couple of years behind do catch up at year 6; they have made great gains but it is not reflected in the Standards. The standards, comments Latta, ‘are too narrow and don’t reflect the huge strides the children at Point England have made’ ‘There is a need to rethink the National Standards.

Point England is a school respected and visited by other educators – Google even visited to make a documentary about the school! The big thing is ‘that the kids are not limited by what others think they should achieve’.

Nigel’s last lessons were back at Pakuranga College.

There is, he said, a lot of talk about the so called ‘soft subjects’ of the NCEA. He took part in a dance class and observed year 12 students panel beating. The dance class involved Nigel in an area beyond his expertise and he found it absorbing. In the panel shop he observed students who otherwise might have left school – students who like hands- on practical things.

Dance and panel beating – essential learning for those students who are attracted to such diverse learning experiences- are both respected as areas of valuable learning.

Nigel struggles in the dance class!
The principal commented that such courses break down the barriers between vocational and academic learning. Practical learning keeps students in the school environment. In the past, the principal said such students would have dropped out.

John Hattie commented to Nigel that traditional schooling privileged a certain group of students and that in contrast  the diversity of NCEA is a way to develop entrepreneurs, musicians  and people equipped to work in the service industries. ‘There are lots of ways of being excellent’.

There is no doubt Nigel’s return to see schools in action for himself was a revelation.  ‘It is not schooling as I knew school…it is about creating citizens’; students who will be well equipped to thrive in an unknown but exciting future.

There is no crisis.

No need to worry.

Foot note.

Russell Burt from Point England was appreciative of the above but to clarify the issue over National Standards sent me this to clarify the position re standards.

'With respect to your commentary regarding Pt England and the National Standards; 

-Our gains are reflected in the standards and are very significant. Its just that what the public sees at early and often only glance of National Standards data, is position rather than progress. If we were judged more by progress than position we would be judged (and were so by ERO) as a very high performing school.

Our concern as a learning community is more about how judgements are made, than about the standards themselves'.