9 July 2015
Data Manipulation Function of Target Setting
‘Target setting for standardised assessment measures is not the way to improve students’ learning or create viable
future learning pathways for our young people,’ said Denise Torrey, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation
‘I am not surprised that there are schools reporting the percentage of NCEA results based only on the students who
participate, whilst taking no account of the students who are not participating in these exams,’ said Torrey. ‘Perverse
targets will result in perverse behaviour,’ she said.
‘The problem is that arbitrarily set targets for standardised assessments assume every student has the same ability and
the same cultural and social background,’ she said. ‘Then they become the measure of a school’s performance and reported
as such,’ she says.
‘The problems are just the same with national standards assessments at the primary levels,’ she said. ‘They are
dangerous, misleading and unhelpful to children’s learning.’