New education targets a disaster for children

3 May 2017

New "Better Public Performance" targets for achievement in mathematics and writing are a disaster for children that will put more pressure on them and their teachers, and further stifle quality public education, NZEI Te Riu Roa says.

This was in response to the government's new targets of having 80% of Year 8 students achieving at or above the National Standard in mathematics and writing by 2021.

"If the Government is serious about helping every child reach their potential through education, forcing teachers to focus on writing and maths is not the way to do it," said NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart.

"National Standards are already responsible for narrowing the focus of schools on reading, writing and mathematics, to the detriment of all the other rich opportunities to learn that are in the curriculum.

"Children learn in lots of different ways, and personalising, not standardising, education is what the evidence tells us they need.

"It’s also a shame that this announcement has overshadowed the good things that the Government announced today, including an extra $34.7 million over four years to expand services for children aged 0-8 with severe behavioural difficulties,” she said.

The catch-up funding is a very welcome first step in helping an extra 1000 children each year, after a virtual freeze on MoE specialist services since 2008.

"For every child to reach their potential through education, then our schools and ECE services need to be provided with the resources that all children need to learn. I'm optimistic that the new education Minister Nikki Kaye understands this and I look forward to working with her," Mrs Stuart said.


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