Let kids be kids - scrap the standards
The National government’s decision to double-down on school standards that are neither national nor standard is a tragedy for kids, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Report after report has highlighted how flawed the national standards are, and yet now the government is now going to judge the whole education system based on them.
“National standards don’t measure progress, they fail to recognise that different kids learn differently and at different rates, and they’re narrowing down the focus of the whole school system.
“It’s time to let kids be kids. Enough with the measurement obsession! Kids won’t grow any faster if we keep measuring them, and they won’t learn more either.
“We’ve got a fantastic curriculum in New Zealand that could set kids up to lead prosperous and fulfilling lives, but it’s constantly being undermined by National’s arbitrary targets.
“I’m not surprised National has abandoned their target of getting 85% of kids achieving NCEA Level 2. They know that it has led to young New Zealanders being encouraged to take easy programmes to accumulate credits to meet targets rather than undertake meaningful programmes of study that lead them somewhere.
“Scrapping the NCEA Level 2 target was the right thing to do, but switching the focus to national standards instead isn’t the answer.
“Labour will scrap national standards and return the focus to a broad and varied curriculum. It’s time to stop treating schools as factories and children as commodities to be homogenised,” Chris Hipkins said.