National Standards: School Sample Monitoring & Evaluation Project 2010 Publications
This is the second report from the National Standards School Sample Monitoring and Evaluation Project 2010-2013, a three year project on National Standards implementation in a representative sample of schools.This report covers implementation in sample schools during 2010 and describes the extent to which National Standards were operating as intended. It summarises key findings for the two major areas of focus for the study in 2010 – Overall Teacher Judgments (OTJs), and reporting to parents, families, and whānau. The report also summarises perspectives of principals and boards of trustees. Data includes OTJs of students’ achievement in relation to the National Standards, copies of students’ end-of-year reports, and survey data from principals, teachers, and Board of Trustees chairpersons.
Author(s): Gill Thomas and Jenny Ward, Maths Technology Limited.
Date Published: August 2011
This report summarises key findings for the two major areas of focus for the study in 2010 – overall teacher judgments, and reporting to parents, families, and whānau. The report also summarises perspectives of principals and Boards of Trustees.
Overall Teacher Judgments
- Evidence suggests that teachers used information from a variety of student assessments to make OTJs in reading, writing, and mathematics. Most of the information sources identified by teachers as being important in making OTJs were considered to be relevant to the National Standards.
- Most teachers regarded specific class observations as the most important information source for making OTJs. The observations described by teachers tended to be general in nature rather than describing students’ particular abilities in a way that might be considered informative in terms of OTJs.
- Just over one-third of teachers can be considered to have used current assessment evidence to inform reading and mathematics OTJs, while approximately half of the teachers used current evidence to inform writing OTJs. The remainder used evidence that was more than 12 weeks old.
- Results indicate that approximately half of the teachers surveyed were taking up to ten minutes to make an OTJs. This was considered to be efficient.
- Teachers were very confident in both the accuracy of the OTJs they had made, and the consistency of the OTJs within their school. Principals shared this confidence.
A variety of processes were used to moderate OTJs.
- Most teachers participated in school-wide processes to moderate writing OTJs, while approximately half of the teachers surveyed were involved in school-wide moderation of reading and mathematics OTJs. Accordingly, informal moderation discussions were more common in reading and mathematics than in writing.
- Approximately one-third of schools appear to be selecting OTJs for moderation by focusing on OTJs near the boundaries between the levels of the standards. This is considered to be an effective and efficient approach.
- Approximately one-third of schools were involved in moderation practices with other schools. Most of this between-school moderation focused on writing OTJs.
The overall achievement of students in the sample in relation to the National Standards was described and the extent to which this is consistent with other evidence about student achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics in New Zealand was considered.
- In reading and writing the pattern of student achievement in relation to the standards shows gender, ethnicity, and school decile trends that are consistent with other data from the Ministry of Education. Comparative data in reading suggests that similar proportions of students in years 5-8 were rated as at or above the Reading Standards as might have been expected from the Ministry of Education’s standard-setting exercises. Comparative data in writing suggests that larger proportions of students were rated as at or above the standards, and smaller proportions of students were rated as well below the standards than might have been expected from the Ministry of Education’s standard-setting exercises.
- In mathematics, the pattern of student achievement in relation to the standards shows ethnicity and school decile trends that are consistent with other data from the Ministry of Education. While there is some consistency between National Standards and other data, in general larger proportions of students at the higher year levels were rated as at or above the Mathematics Standards than might have been expected.
Reporting to parents, families, and whānau
- Evidence suggests that approximately 80% of families received an end-of-year report that referred directly to the National Standards. Sixty percent of these reports were rated as sufficiently describing the student’s achievement in relation to the National Standards.
- Approximately 40% of the reports that described achievement in relation to the National Standards were considered to be easily understood by families and whānau.
- Most of the reports that referred directly to the National Standards included the child’s next learning steps, and information about the ways families and whānau can help support learning at home. Just over 10% of the reports described actions the school was planning to take to support learning.
Perspectives of Principals and Boards of Trustees
- Most principals described themselves as minimally supported or unsupported by the Ministry of Education. The areas in which principals felt most supported were making OTJs, and reporting to families and whānau, while they felt least supported to moderate OTJs.
- Principals continue to be very concerned about the unintended consequences of the National Standards, with league tables and the demotivation of students who are consistently below the standards being the most concerning. Boards of Trustees share these concerns.
- In general, most Boards were confident in the capability of the school to implement the National Standards, and felt they had a good understanding of the standards themselves.
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