Mallard Should “Fess Up” Says Awatere Huata

Published: Fri 4 Aug 2000 09:46 AM
Education Minister Trevor Mallard should “fess up,” (come clean), ACT Education spokesperson Donna Awatere Huata said today.
She called the Minister’s decision to implement diagnostic assessment for students as nothing more than a “magician’s slight of hand.”
“First Mr Mallard decides to can the pilots for national testing for nine year olds, and now he has re invented them as “diagnostic testing” that will be carried out on students in year 5, 6, and 7,” Mrs Huata said.
“Diagnostic assessment is nothing more that national testing under another name. Other than that there is no difference between the two except that Nationals national testing pilot began with 9 year olds, and diagnostic testing begins with 5 year olds.
“Unfortunately, as a result of the Ministers canning of the pilots, the Ministry of Education is now 8 months behind in its work programme. The Minister should come clean and fess up that he made a mistake,” Mrs Huata said.
She said the government had pledged to close the gap between non-Maori and Maori.
“The Minister must now realise that they can not achieve this without providing proper national testing and benchmarks so teachers can correctly address the needs of the children in their classrooms.
“We must lift the standards of literacy and mathematics in New Zealand and this will not happen with an unreliable, casual testing programme,” Mrs Huata said.

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