12 Aug 2011

Some Northland schools rethink national standards

8:17 pm on 12 August 2011

A Northland principal says some schools in her region have agreed to implement national standards, as they fear they will lose funding otherwise.

Some 533 schools throughout New Zealand have rejected using the standards in reading, writing and maths in their student achievement targets, including about 30 in Tai Tokerau.

The principal of decile 1 Moerewa School says some colleagues have given in because of what she describes as pressure from the Ministry of Education.

Keri Milne-Ihimaera says her school is opposed to the standards because they undermine the ministry's own strategy document for Maori learners, Ka Hikitia.

She says she will not budge on her decision until she sees proper research that national standards will actually make a difference.

Ms Milne-Ihimaera says the thorough studies she has read on documents such as the ministry's Ka Hikitia strategy indicate they do have positive outcomes for Maori students.

The ministry has offered to help dissenting schools write new charters but if that means accepting national standards, Moerewa School won't be conforming, she says.