Schools may not reveal scores, union says

VICTORIA ROBINSON
Last updated 07:26 30/01/2012

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Schools might withhold student achievement statistics if the government does not prevent national standards information being used to create league tables, the New Zealand Education Institute says.

All schools must submit their student achievement data based on national standards to the Education Ministry by May 31.

But the NZEI said yesterday some schools might refuse to do so if the government did not prevent the information being used for league tables comparing each schools' academic achievement.

"It's a top-of-mind issue and worry for principals, teachers and school as we go into the 2012 school year," president Ian Leckie said.

"They know that national standards data is inconsistent and that each school is interpreting the standards differently. Aggregating that data into national or local league tables that give the impression of ranking school effectiveness would be unfair."

Mr Leckie said league tables would penalise lower-decile schools, and result in unhealthy competition between schools, the likely "massaging" of student achievement information and teachers tailoring their lessons to what will arise in the tests.

"Is this really what we want for our world-leading education system and our children?"

Education Minister Hekia Parata was unavailable for comment yesterday, but said in December that she had "no fear of public information".

"We already have a very transparent framework, what I want to now see is a lifting of the accountability at each point of that framework so that we get better results," she said.

Teachers should expect "more expectation of performance".

"Translation of that investment in professional development, their salaries, in training, must translate into achievement." Fairfax NZ

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