Do standards pass the test?

In this column from The New Zealand Herald columnist Kerre Woodham discusses national standards. Read the whole thing here.

My daughter’s nearly finished uni so the prospect of coming to grips with the National Standards isn’t nearly as personal for me as it is for parents with primary school-aged kids.

Given the stridency and the implacability of the arguments from the Government and the NZEI over standards, it’s difficult to read, respond to and think critically about the texts – as National Standards demand a Year 4 pupil be able to do – but I’ll give it a bash.

Initially, I thought National Standards were a good idea. When you look at the numbers of functionally illiterate people in prison, you understand just how harmful it is for the individual and the community for a young person to be failed.

I accept that teachers aren’t the only answer in helping kids who are failing. If these kids are coming from families where ignorance is endemic, chances are these woeful parents aren’t going to give a fat rat’s arse about their children’s progress.

But can the NZEI tell me how a 13-year-old can reach secondary school without being able to read and comprehend basic texts?

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