Union angered as schools release standards figures

JOHN HARTEVELT
Last updated 05:00 29/06/2012

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Teacher unions have told schools to flout the law and refuse to release national standards data to the media.

But some schools have already released figures showing how many of their students are meeting the standards and what they're doing to improve achievement.

The Dominion Post has asked schools across the Wellington region to release the information they were required to send to the Education Ministry about the number of pupils at, above, below or well below national standards in reading, writing and maths.

The ministry declined a request for the data, but acting senior manager Dennis Cribb said individual schools could be approached.

About 10 have already responded with information and others have indicated their data will be forthcoming.

Some of the data released includes results from 2010 and 2011, showing pupils' progress between years.

But teachers union, the New Zealand Educational Institute, said schools should not give results to the news media and should instead refer any requests for the information to the ministry.

"We are entering a new era of `naming and shaming' schools in order to sell newspapers and even worse, the publication of league tables will be unfair and based on faulty, misleading and valueless misinformation," NZEI president Ian Leckie said.

The Principals' Federation has also advised schools on ways to try to prevent league tables being created from the information they supply.

In an "urgent" advisory, NZPF president Paul Drummond suggested schools should "consider reporting in general terms".

Mr Leckie said parents wanting to know about a school's performance should talk with the teachers and principal. They could also look at Education Review Office reports.

"We would also ask members of the news media to take a close look at their own ethics before publishing data that will be narrow, unfair and inaccurate," Mr Leckie said.

Dominion Post editor Bernadette Courtney said: "We have asked for this information because we believe parents have a right to see it."

Last night, Education Minister Hekia Parata said the data was public information but she wanted to see it used responsibly.

The ministry has indicated it will release data in September.

Related: League tables are bad Porirua schools say

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- The Dominion Post

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