I’ve read a frightening article recently: 20 percent of New Zealand students are failing within the school system. And I believe the overseas figures are no better.
What makes our situation unique is that New Zealand doesn't have national standards for judging if primary students can read, write, or do maths (Reading, Riting, Rithmetic). If such standards were to be introduced, the experts argue, teachers would know what to aim for and parents would know what to expect of their children.
While I agree that a benchmark is needed, I’m concerned that it might, by establishing the lowest allowable level, somehow create the misimpression that the level is a “good enough” achievement. Our country can be so good at cutting down Tall Poppies! (For our overseas readers, Tall Poppies are high achievers who are sometimes encouraged by their peers to step down and settle for mediocrity.)
I’m further concerned that such a measure would add even more strain and stress and paperwork to our already overloaded teachers. Let’s face it: bureaucracy creates results that usually look good on paper but are often not practically beneficial, and it always but always creates more work and stress for the people involved.
Incidentally, if you’re a teacher who’s currently under stress due to work pressures, burnout or discipline issues, why not check out our Teaching Style Analysis (TSA) on www.creativelearningsystems.com? It might - just might - make your year easier!