Friday, March 30, 2012

Warwick B. Elley: Education system's weak spot

Warwick Elley. Photo / Richard Robinson 

If you haven't read the article by Warwick B. Elley (emeritus professor of education, University of Canterbury and recently served as evaluation consultant for the World Bank) which is online in the nzherald then click on his photo to have a read.  He summarises the recent OECD Report which evaluated our education system as he believes that it deserves more public discussion than it has so far received.  He outlines that despite our international high standing and our system being commended, like Finland (who is the OECD's star performer despite what Gerry Brownlee says) have so far kept compulsory assessments and league tables out of the primary classroom.  He then summarises the OECD's report of its 5 major criticisms of where the current trend of national standards is taking us and then outlines a Plan B.  And I quote:

"Make National Standards optional, trust schools to use their own less-damaging approaches to showing progress, re-direct funds to other targeted initiatives, and attack the poverty-related problems that create those barriers to learning. "

Targeted spending of tax payers dollars sounds pretty sensible to me - what do you think?

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