Parata and Key really do under-rate our educational achievement if they think the public aren’t capable of making spreadsheets.

Schools’ National Standards results to go online (John Hartevelt, 08/08/2012)

Schools are to have their National Standards results published on a Government website.
Education Minister Hekia Parata today confirmed the contentious data would be added to an existing Government website called Education Counts.

“This information will be available on the website and parents or members of the public will be able to go on and look at all of it,” Parata said.
“Parents and schools have wanted both and from the outset, that has been the intention of National Standards and now we are designing a tool that will deliver that.” …

Parata said the Government would not arrange the performance of schools in to a league table …
However, the website would collect schools within regions for parents to view. That would show the overall performance against the standards in each region, as well as showing the overall national performance.

The only possible justification for (something like) national standards is so that the ministry and other concerned parties can monitor which schools and communities are struggling, and target them for extra educational/economic/health assistance. That is, to ensure all kids can get a quality education.

But in fact the aim is quite the opposite. The figures are being broadcast publicly to aid consumer choice, so that those parents who can afford to choose can choose where to send their kids, to give them a competitive advantage over everyone else’s kids. This government worships competition as the best way to deliver any service, but in this situation it can only serve to reinforce existing cycles of privilege and poverty. Not to mention undermining the collegiality that makes our education good at the moment.

This stated intention makes a mockery of Parata’s meaningless assurance that, although all the information will be publicly available as if there were league tables, it’s not being published in table format, so technically there are no league tables.

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