Schools tell of league table negatives

SHABNAM DASTGHEIB
Last updated 05:00 29/06/2012
Hekia Parata
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ
LISTEN UP: Education Minister Hekia Parata shows how it all adds up to a group of school board chairmen and school principals.

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School board leaders have expressed their concerns about the possibility of league tables being used to rank schools, saying they will not help students in any way.

About 30 board chairmen and women and principals were at the Mana Education Centre in Porirua yesterday to put forward questions and concerns to Education Minister Hekia Parata.

Bishop Viard College board chairwoman Marian Blackford told the minister she did not believe reporting based on national standards could help students' self-esteem.

"Our students are over-represented in the tail, we have 6 per cent Pasifika and 20 per cent Maori in our college. We have worked hard for a lot of years to keep them all moving along. I see a lot of what is happening at the moment is going to be really unhelpful to their continuing to believe that they can achieve."

Others agreed and said achievement tables tended to play to the fears and prejudices people already had, and the data was not valid because it could not be compared effectively between schools.

Data on standards from schools has been sent to the ministry for the first time this year, creating the potential for league tables ranking school performance.

Yesterday, Ms Parata admitted the quality of the information was inconsistent but said the public expected to know what was happening.

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- The Dominion Post

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