Towards Defining, Assessing and Reporting Against National Standards for Literacy and Numeracy in New Zealand
The Education (National Standards) Amendment Act 2008 sets in place the government’s ten-step Crusade for Literacy and Numeracy (Hon. John Key, 13 October, 2008). As part of that Crusade: (i) national standards will be set in literacy and numeracy; (ii) every primary and intermediate student will be assessed regularly against the national standards; and (iii) every primary and intermediate school will report to parents in plain English about how their child is doing compared to national standards and compared to other children their age. Where it is indicated, targeted funding will be provided to enable schools to give assistance to the students who do not meet national standards. This paper discusses these elements of the Amendment Act, (referred to as ‘national standards’ in this paper for simplicity), proposes a number of principles that should underlie the design of an assessment, analysis and reporting system based on them; and makes several suggestions for supporting their development and successful implementation.