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Principal criticises 'inconsistent' National Standards data

Published: 2:06PM Saturday September 22, 2012 Source: ONE News

The publication of National Standards data shows "no consistency between schools", a Wellington primary school principal says.

This morning, Fairfax published National Standards results from more than 1000 schools across New Zealand, using tables to show the percentage of children who may or may not be meeting the expected National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics.

However, the principal of Wellington's Khandallah School, Louise Green, said that even though her school has performed well, she believes the data show little, if any, consistency in standards between schools.

"There's no consistency between schools, and there's no certainly no consistency between regions, so it's, to use the Prime Minister's words, it's ropey data.

"If you go into any particular area that you're living in and you bring up all the schools of course you can rate them, so it is a league table," said Green.

Fairfax's John Hartevelt did admit that the data that came from the schools was variable.

"But we did take some measures to have our data processing checked, it was independently reviewed by a research company, we also took privacy considerations into account.

Hartevelt added that although the data is there, "by no means should it be considered the only way that parents should compare schools".

Wider context

In response to the early release of the National Standards data, Education Minister Hekia Parata said that the information needs to be analysed in the wider context.

"On its own it doesn't tell the full story," she told ONE News today.

Yesterday, Parata released a National Standards overview, which released some of the figures.

In particular, the overview showed 76% of children were at, or above the National Standard in reading, 72% for mathematics and 68% for writing.

However, the overview highlighted the growing concern at the number of Maori and Pacific Island children under the standard.

The figures for Maori children were 66%, 62% and 58% and as many as 46% of Pacific children were below the national standards in all three subjects.

The government is set to publish National Standard's data for all schools on their own website by next Friday.

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