Presentation on theme: "Doing the right thing... for us, and our children."— Presentation transcript:
Doing the right thing... for us, and our children.
We are charged with a special responsibility. The children of New Zealand look to us. We are the ones who walk through those school gates every morning. We are the ones their parents, and the community, trust to do the right thing.
These are difficult, challenging times.
National Standards are flawed
Our way forward is to try to advocate for the most necessary changes, but to do so with our vision for the future strongly in front of us and a determination to stay true to what we believe. We are doing this for the right reasons, for our children...
National Standards are in our schools Passed into law on 19 December 2008.
We’ve reviewed some of the evidence over the past couple of months, and here are some key issues...
We want to ensure that National Standards are only used inside schools to enhance teaching and learning and to improve formative assessment practices.
We’ve reviewed some of the evidence over the past couple of months, and here are some key issues… If National Standards are used inside schools to reflect on practice and to identify at risk learners, and their next steps for learning, they can enhance learning in schools.
We’ve reviewed some of the evidence over the past couple of months, and here are some key issues… However, many of the tools are not aligned to the standards, or even the National Curriculum.
We’ve reviewed some of the evidence over the past couple of months, and here are some key issues… Gaining consistency across the whole country through a new moderation process which currently doesn’t exist is likely to be hugely problematic..
We’ve reviewed some of the evidence over the past couple of months, and here are some key issues… The speed and experimental nature of the implementation could become a huge risk.
We’ve reviewed some of the evidence over the past couple of months, and here are some key issues… The development of resources to support the standards is a work in progress with changes happening all the time – and this means it is difficult for schools to respond because the ground keeps shifting.
We’ve reviewed some of the evidence over the past couple of months, and here are some key issues… There is currently no uniform buy-in from all schools.
We’ve reviewed some of the evidence over the past couple of months, and here are some key issues… There is a risk of simplistic adoption, and over-reliance on certain tests.
We’ve reviewed some of the evidence over the past couple of months, and here are some key issues… Schools will be working in isolation, with different levels of understanding of a complicated issue.
We’ve reviewed some of the evidence over the past couple of months, and here are some key issues… Of most concern are issues around data validity and data safety... we will talk to the Government about what we see as possible solutions for some of the more troubling aspects, suggesting adjustments that, in our opinion, could make National Standards more workable.
What we’re saying to Government… We recognise that the relationship between NZPF and its members and the Government could not help but become strained as a result of each of us having strongly opposing views on National Standards. Our priority has always been, and remains, our children. We believe that it is in the best interests of these children for their Principals and the Government to sit down together and engage in meaningful discussion on the issues of National Standards, and then to work through these issues to find a positive solution for all.
Work to limit the damage of the most dangerous aspects of National Standards (data validity/safety)
NZPF believes that if National Standards are to be used to inform comparisons between schools and teachers this will impact negatively on children. A broad and rich curriculum will deliver the best outcomes for children, and an undue focus on narrow assessments will threaten that richness. Children need teachers who are creative and passionate, who identify the teachable moment and use it. National Standards raises the stakes and teachers will have to respond by focusing their teaching on what’s being measured.
The Standards do not recognize the very real learning issues that slow children’s learning, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism. These children risk being marginalised just when schools were recognizing new teaching strategies that worked.
National Standards will be no cure-all for poverty and disadvantage.
The Government is pitching National Standards as a magic solution, focusing on the ideal of happy, successful futures for all. It would be nice if it were that easy. The issues are much more complex. National Standards are complicated in their current form with room for misunderstanding, misinterpretation and confusion. As Principals, our role is to be pragmatic about these things.
We need to work together to ensure that National Standards do not damage our schools, our communities or the futures of our children. One of the most important ways of doing this is to fight the misinformation about National Standards. National Standards only tell part of the story, they can be a general guide to a few specific aspects but do not communicate the whole.
You need more than a few pieces of information to get the big picture
- just the same way you can’t make a rainbow out of three colours
...or you can’t create a symphony out of just three notes
...or think only three letters can make an alphabet.
National Standards are fundamentally flawed
However, National Standards are in our schools, and they are here to stay....
The Government has been unusually intractable on this issue The more dogmatic they get in the face of public challenge, the harder it is going to be to get any concession from them If public/professional opposition won’t sway them and boycott/refusal to implement isn’t an option for a majority of schools, the only choice left is to work to get changes to the legislation
Limit the damage to children and schools. What this could mean to our school in particular…
What are the potential issues for our school and what can we do to minimise any potential damage to our school, our children and our reputation?
What NZPF are doing…
What we’ll be saying to government... National Standards are fundamentally flawed The trust of NZ principals has been lost - but we’re committed to NZ’s children and schools, and so are prepared to engage in constructive dialogue to try and work though the most pressing issues around implementation (i.e. data safety) Our recent Moot gave us a mandate from our membership to work with the Minister to ensure the data is safe once it leaves our schools. This mandate has an expiry date. While in negotiations, members will be encouraged to work with the standards.
If this approach does not yield acceptable results, we should be ready to adopt a PLAN B. What would that look like for our school? What are we prepared to do, how far would we want to go…
When and how will we begin to engage with our parents and communities to help them understand the limitations and risks of National Standards and encourage them to look at NS-based information with wise and informed eyes?
What schools need to do: Limit the damage to our children and our schools.