Teacher judg­ments ‘un­re­li­able’

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - LAURA DOONEY

The way teach­ers are as­sess­ing their stu­dents’ progress against na­tional stan­dards for numer­acy and lit­er­acy is not reli­able, and in some cases, might be wrong, a new re­port shows.

The re­cently-pub­lished re­search drew on data from about 100 schools na­tion­wide. It eval­u­ated the im­ple­men­ta­tion of na­tional stan­dards in schools be­tween 2010 to 2014.

Its find­ings cast doubt on over­all teacher judge­ments (OTJs), and the way teach­ers judged stu­dents’ per­for­mance against the stan­dards for read­ing, writ­ing and maths.

Ev­i­dence of this was the ‘‘marked dif­fer­ence’’ be­tween

‘‘If the min­istry is say­ing na­tional stan­dards results are doubt­ful, then there's a whole of lot ba­sic rea­sons why.’’

teacher rat­ings of stu­dents in Year 7 and 8 at a full pri­mary school com­pared to at an in­ter­me­di­ate.

Higher num­bers of stu­dents at pri­mary schools were marked ‘at’ or ‘above’ the stan­dards than stu­dents at in­ter­me­di­ate schools.

‘‘It should be noted that there is no sug­ges­tion that all OTJs are in­ac­cu­rate, but ev­i­dence in­di­cates that a rea­son­able pro­por­tion may be,’’ the re­port said.

There was also the pos­si­bil­ity of a ‘‘sys­temic bias’’ in teach­ers’ rat­ings, the study found.

‘‘If teach­ers are mak­ing OTJs by com­par­ing the achieve­ment of stu­dents in their class, then teach­ers at low decile schools might tend to judge stu­dents more gen­er­ously than teach­ers at high decile schools.’’

Porirua’s Corinna School prin­ci­pal Michele Whit­ing said she was not sur­prised to hear the results of the study, be­cause of the way na­tional stan­dards were in­tro­duced.

How­ever, she was sur­prised to hear that decile one schools like hers could be judg­ing stu­dents more gen­er­ously.

She did not be­lieve there was a pat­tern to sup­port that.

There is a depart­ment in the New Zealand Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Author­ity that checked mod­er­a­tion of NCEA across schools, to en­sure the judge­ments teach­ers made were ac­cu­rate, but no one was check­ing the mod­er­a­tion of na­tional stan­dards.

‘‘If the min­istry is say­ing na­tional stan­dards results are doubt­ful, then there’s a whole lot of ba­sic rea­sons why.’’

Karl le Quesne, as­so­ciate head of early learn­ing and stu­dent achieve­ment at the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, said the re­port was com­mis­sioned to find out how na­tional stan­dards were bed­ding in.

‘‘It is use­ful be­cause it high­lights ar­eas where we need to do more to sup­port schools.’’

A lot had hap­pened in the past two years to sup­port prin­ci­pals and teach­ers us­ing na­tional stan­dards, he said.

Some teacher na­tional stan­dards judge­ments could be wrong, a re­port states.

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