Papakowhai School recently received a request from a reporter at the Dominion Post. He asked for all National Standards data the school provided to the Ministry of Education. The Board of Trustees sent him a copy of the relevant parts of the annual report. This information does not identify individual children.
This is what we told him about the data:
You have only requested data relating to performance as measured against National Standards. There are a number of matters you should be aware of, as in our view publication of this data in isolation could be misleading.
This data has not been moderated or audited, and as such inclusion of any data provided by primary schools may not be accurate or reliable when compared in a league table.
National Standards are only one of a number of ‘standards’ used by teachers to assess the progress of children. Publication of National Standards data alone may therefore be misleading.
There remains debate about whether the National Standards are appropriately set for all age levels. Publication of the raw data may therefore be unreliable.
National Standards are a measure for only part of the school curriculum. Any publication of the data should be seen in the context of the wide-ranging education provided in primary schools, and the additional information available to the community to assess how well children and schools are achieving in all areas.
Papakowhai School fully supports accountability and transparency. For us, reporting on how well children are progressing in terms of National Standards is a small part of what we do. If you want to use National Standards data, you should be aware that publication of the data alone may be inaccurate and/or misleading.
To assist you to present an accurate picture of how well schools are preparing children for the next step in their education, we suggest you look at the most recent ERO report (here is a link to ours http://www.ero.govt.nz/Early-Childhood-School-Reports/School-Reports/Papakowhai-School-21-03-2011 ).
Better still, come and visit.
If you have any questions about National Standards or the request for information, please feel free to contact me.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES CHAIRPERSON