School Reports. National Standards Data Released, High Error Rate in Marking

The first ever National Standards results for reading, writing and maths in primary schools have been released in New Zealand.

It’s not a comprehensive list and 188 schools either haven’t submitted data or it was ‘incomplete’.  25 schools have refused to participate,  prompting Education Minister, Hekia Parata,  to issue a stern rebuke, saying

Schools are Crown entities, not secret societies. They are public institutions funded by public money to do a public job.”

It’s early days yet and there is no way to tell if the acceptable standards of one school are equivalent to the acceptable standards of another, but it’s a start and will give parents their first ever tool for judging how schools improve year on year.  As yet there are no national standards for humanities, science or the arts.

You can download the data here

High error rate in National Standards marking

Doubts have been cast over the validity of the data provided by some schools. Glaring ‘inconsistencies’ have been found, due to ‘errors’ in the way teachers had marked the tests.

According to a new report for the Ministry of Education

“The study collected information about teachers’ ability to rate individual pieces of student work in relation to the National Standards, and to collate several pieces of assessment evidence that had already been rated against the standards to make an OTJ (overall teacher judgement). Student OTJ data was also used to provide information about the dependability of teachers’ OTJs.

• There was considerable variability in the accuracy of teachers’ ratings against the National Standards for individual work or assessment samples. In writing, accuracy ranged from 3% to 89% over the samples, while accuracy in mathematics ranged from 18% to 90%. This is a cause for concern as it is these individual judgements that are the basis of OTJs.

• Most teachers were able to collate four pieces of assessment evidence, each of which had been previously rated by experts, against the standards to make an accurate OTJ.

Large positive shifts were observed for those students rated ‘below’ or ‘well below’ the standards in 2010. For example, approximately 60% of students rated ‘well below’ in 2010 received an improved rating in 2011. Given evidence from the assessment scenarios, and the magnitude of the changes observed, it is most likely the shifts in the data are attributable to teacher inconsistency in making OTJs.

• Aggregated reading, writing, and mathematics OTJs for 16,111 students were consistent with results from 2010. Demographic patterns in these data were in line with other evidence of student achievement in New Zealand, due to the large sample size that tends to cancel out random error in individual OTJs.

You can read the full report here
If the teachers can’t even get the test right, what chance do the kids stand?

3 thoughts on “School Reports. National Standards Data Released, High Error Rate in Marking

  1. Recent studies show that between small class size and mediocre teacher vs larger class size and excelent teacher, big class size with good teacher has better outcomes. Now, why was the teachers union advocating for small class size? There is less wiggle room for excusing poor performance with small class size. I’m sure that a new excuse will surface.

    • Pretty sure it will be along the lines of “if we help the students to learn, they won’t know how to learn by themselves”.
      In other words, teaching is indispensable, but teachers are “the chosen few”.

  2. The side effect to “no child left behind, all must have prizes” thinking:
    A teacher claims she was bullied and unfairly dismissed from a prestigious Hawkes Bay private school over alleged instructions to lie to parents about their children’s achievement.

    Former Hereworth School teacher Emma Fox filed an unjustifiable dismissal complaint against the Havelock North boys’ school after a series of incidents in 2009 and 2010, an Employment Relations Tribunal hearing was told yesterday in Hastings District Court.

    (Remember, you can’t build a world class standard of education … unless you are willing to have a world class number of failures. “Having standards” means “failing those who don’t meet that”.)

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