Minister of Education Chris Hipkins has announced the government is scrapping National Standards. National Chairperson for Te Rūnanganui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori, Cathy Dewes, says the organisation is ecstatic about the decision.
“This is the Christmas gift we've been waiting for a long time,” says Dewes.
“We really fought the government on its National Standards. So we want to congratulate the new government for scrapping them. Hooray, hooray, hooray!”
Teachers are instead being directed to focus on the progress and achievement of their students across the New Zealand curriculum.
“The National Standards were problematic for us in that they had a narrow focus and [were also] very limited in the criteria they stipulated for us to assess within,” says Dewes.
National Standards were introduced in 2010.
In 2015 the government agreed for the National Council of Māori Medium Schools to research, design and create a new process call Ngā Hua o Te Ako.
The initiative was funded by the Ministry of Education.
“We are still hoping for the new process [to be] relevant for Te Aho Matua. That issue is still on the table...we are discussing with the minister.”
Next year, schools will no longer need to report annually on National Standards.
Instead, the Ministry of Education is issuing a good practice guide to schools, kura, and kāhui ako as a flexible assessment tool for future planning, teaching and reporting practices.