New Zealand: How Researchers Helped to Kill National Standards

By dianeravitch

New Zealand is one of the few—perhaps the only—nation that abandoned national standards.

As Professor Martin Thrupp Explains here, scholars and researchers helped to expose the flaws of national standards.

The national standards were driven by political, not educational, purposes. The ruling party pushed them and couldn’t stop pushing them, ignoring all criticism.

Thrupp’s book, co-edited with Bob Lingard, Meg Maguire, and David Hursh, “The Search for Better Educational Standards: A Cautionary Tale” teaches us that concerted efforts by educators, scholars, and parents can roll back ruinous education policy.

He writes:

“The National-led Government had become fully invested in the National Standards policy. When it was first announced in 2007, it was National’s big idea for education – the ‘cornerstone’ of its education policy. Over the 10 years that followed, the Government had dismissed all criticisms. Any late turning back would be a sign of weakness, and instead the National party wanted to plough on with this truly awful project that had already became a world-class example of how not to make education policy….

“Despite the National-led Government’s adherence to the National Standards, researchers and academics certainly pushed back against the policy…In fact, researchers and academics did a great deal in this space! A particular highlight for me was the 2012 open letter signed by over 100 education academics against the public release of the National Standards data. But there were countless other instances of academics and researchers opposing the National Standards, either publicly or more behind the scenes. Opinion pieces, articles, TV debates, radio, public meetings, meetings behind closed doors – and all the rest of it. Chapter 8 of A Cautionary Tale, about the politics of research, gives numerous examples.

“A number of us also did empirical research that helped to explain how the National Standards were a problem …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core