Waikanae Primary School The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Ngā mokopuna o te ra nei Ngā rangatire o āpōpō.

Analysis of the Mid-Year Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJs)
in
Reading, Writing and Maths
July 2012

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A word on the 'Standards' themselves.

 

‘National Standards’ are not ‘National’ neither are they ‘Standard’. The Waikanae School Board of Trustees has major concerns re the impact of the National Standards Policy.  We urge you to take into account the following points when reading this analysis.

 
It is the Board’s view that the National Standards are in fact NOT ‘National’ nor are they ‘Standard’.  The Standards are broad and imprecise, and every teacher across the country who assesses a child against them will interpret their students’ progress against them differently.  Waikanae School teachers have worked hard to moderate their judgements to achieve as much consistency as possible. However due to a lack of any national moderation processes this consistency has not/will not/cannot be achieved across schools on a district or a nationwide basis.  Because of this lack of moderation our achievement data once removed from our immediate learning environment loses its validity and relevance.


We are very concerned about the requirement to send school level OTJ data to the Ministry of Education.  We believe that the centralisation of schools' OTJ achievement data will result in published league tables.  While National Standards can be usefully implemented within our school as one of a range of tools with which to report on students' achievement, their inherent subjectivity means that the data becomes unreliable when it is removed from within our school setting and centralised.  Furthermore if we are going to have League Tables that compare schools surely the Tables should compare ‘apples with apples’.  This will not be the case in this instance.


It is also the Board’s view that published league tables will have a range of unintended consequences, including narrowing the teaching focus to the basics of reading, written language, and mathematics and narrowing schools’ focus on to students who can be shifted rather than those with the greatest need.  New Zealand's current broad-based curriculum gives all children opportunities for success.  A narrowed learning environment will not provide underachieving children with opportunities to succeed or children who achieve highly with opportunities to be stimulated and extended. 

In summary, we see our school's achievement data (including National Standards OTJs) as being safe and relatively reliable within our school and we will continue to use this data to assure our community and the Board that our children are making progress and achieving as should be expected.  We also commit to the fact that we will continue to have a ‘warts and all’ approach to the reporting of School- wide Student Achievement Reporting.

With these thoughts in mind our analysis of our interpretation of our students’ achievement as measured against the National Standards follows. 


Introduction

Alll students have been given Mid-Year evaluations for Reading, Writing and Maths.  The evaluations are Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJs) and are the teacher’s judgement as to whether the student is likely to meet the relevant National Standard at  the end of the year.

Students were given one of four grades for each area assessed.  It is worth noting that for the purposes of Reporting Individual Student Achievement to parents (via the Mid and End of Year Reports) the two grades of Achieving Well Below and Achieving Below were combined into one grade of Achieving Below Standard. They are spilt in this group due to MoE reporting requirements.

 
• At year end the student was achieving above the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level (more than12 months ahead).

• At year end the student was achieving the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level (between 0 to 12 months ahead).

• At year end the student was achieving below the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level (between 0 to 12 months behind).

• At year end the student was achieving well below the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level (more than 12 months behind).

 

Description of Cohort Groupings

Category  

Number of Students in Cohort Group  

Percentage of Test Group  

Description
 

All

456

100%

 All students tested from Year 0 to Year 8

Maori

51

11%

 All students identified upon enrolment as Maori

NZ European

351

77%

 All students identified upon enrolment as New Zealand European

Other

33

7%

This category includes all students identified upon enrolment as being Asian, South East Asian, Other and Other European  

Pacific Peoples

19

4%

 This category includes all students identified upon enrolment as being Samoan, Fijian, Cook Island Maori etc.

Target Reading Year Groups

56

12%

 The Year Group Target Cohorts are all the students in each year group that were judged as being below the National Standard in reading on 1 December 2011

Target Maori

45

10%

 The Maori Target Cohort is all students recorded/enrolled as Maori on 1 December 2011

Target  Pacific Island

16

3.5%

 The Pacific Island Target Cohort is all students recorded/enrolled as Pacific Islanders  on 1 December 2011

Target Maths

199

44%

 The Year Group Target Cohorts are all the students in Years 1,3,5 and 7 as at 1 February 2012

Target Writing

180

395

 The Year Group Target Cohorts are all the students in Years 4 ,6,and 8 as at 1 February 2012

  

Achievement Summary


Reading

Reading All;  84% of students are achieving at a level that indicates that they are achieving at or above the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level.

Reading Maori; 80% of students are achieving at a level that indicates that they are achieving at or above the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level.

Reading Gender; There is a slight difference at the top end with 4% more girls than boys achieving above the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level.


Reading Target; It is interesting to note that there has been a sizeable shift in performance for this cohort with 11 students (20%) moving from Below the National Standard to At the National Standard.  At 1 December 2011 all 56 of these students were rated as being either Below or Well Below the National Standard.

Writing

Writing All; 74% of students are achieving at a level that indicates that they are achieving at or above the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level.

Writing Maori; 83% of students are achieving at a level that indicates that they are achieving at or above the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level.

Writing Gender; Girls perform slightly better than boys with net differences in performance of between 3% and 6% across the board.

Writing Target; All targets are being met or exceeded with the notable exception of Year 4 which has regressed by 21% 

Mathematics

Maths All;  76% of students are achieving at a level that indicates that they are achieving at or above the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level.

Maths Maori; 81% of students are achieving at a level that indicates that they are achieving at or above the National Standard appropriate for either their time at school or year level.

Maths Gender; Boys perform slightly better than girls with net differences in performance of between 1% and 12% across the board.

Maths Target;  All targets are being met or exceeded with the notable exception of Year 5 which has regressed by 20%


Overall

Overall achievement levels are highest in Reading 84%.

By Year 8, Maths is the weakest area with only 71% achieving at or above the National Standard.

Results in all three areas trend downwards over the eight years.
The lowest performing Year Group cohort is Year 5 with:

• 71% achieving at or above the National Standard in Reading
• 73% achieving at or above the National Standard in Writing
• 57% achieving at or above the National Standard in Mathematics

Pacific Peoples perform poorly in all three areas with:


• 69% achieving at or above the National Standard in Reading
• 63% achieving at or above the National Standard in Writing
• 53% achieving at or above the National Standard in Mathematics

This cohort only contains 19 students (4% of student population) seven of whom are very recent immigrants with English is their second language.

Maori achievement is more or less at the levels of achievement for all students at Waikanae School.  There is no disparity of note in achievement between Maori and Non Maori.

Overall Gender There is no disparity of any note in achievement between Boys and Girls.

Maori Target Reading The target is not being met and there has been a slight drop from the base line of 4%.
Mathematics The target is being met.

Writing There is a lift in performance from the base line of 8% with the target being exceeded by 6%.

Pacific Island Target  Reading Although the target is yet to be met there is a notable lift in performance from the baseline of 23%
Mathematics Although the target is yet to be met there is a notable lift in performance from the baseline of 14%
Writing Although the target is yet to be met there is a lift in performance from the baseline of 8%

It is worth noting that in 2009 75% of Year 12 Students attending Paraparaumu College passed NCEA level 2.  Our OTJs for Year 8 Students Achieving At or Above the National Standards roughly reflects pass rate Reading 81%, Writing 74% and Mathematics 71%.



Overtime

Whole School Overtime: We have now completed five rounds of OTJs against the National Standards and overall performance in all three subject areas seems to be attaining a reasonable level of consistency from one six month period to another. With this large cohort (456 students) the leaps and drops in the Year Group performances detailed below off set each other and even out. The larger the data sample the more even the overall results become. However if we were able to even out the anomalies in the Year Group performances we could possibly see a sizable percentage  shift (up or down) in overall school achievement levels.

Year Groups Overtime: There seems to be an appropriate level of consistency in Years 1 to 3 but from Year 4 onwards the results become ‘ropey’ with some dramatic leaps and drops in ‘performance’ from one six month period to another (up to 29%).  It is reasonable to expect that if the National Standards were truly ‘National and Standard’ we would see consistent trends of performance (up, down or flat) in all Year Groups.

It is my view that the sudden leaps/drops in performance for Years 4 to 8 from one six month period to another are due to issues with the Standards themselves and not any shift in student achievement.

These inconsistencies (leaps/drops) are of a major concern and need to be ironed out before we can be confident that our OTJs are completely reliable and valid within our own school.

To date we have not received any assistance/resource/money etc from the Ministry to help ensure the validity of our judgements. We desperately need support from the Ministry of Education to assist us with the moderation process both within our school (overtime and across year groups) and across schools in our district/region/country.

It is worth noting that absolutely no resources have/are being allocated by the MoE to ensure that this happens and it appears to be the Ministry’s expectation that we as individual schools will somehow make the National Standards policy work without a National Moderation Process.  I suggest that until such time as there is a coordinated and nationwide response from the MoE to assist schools in the moderation process both within and across schools these inconsistencies will continue.

We are not alone with these difficulties and many if not all other schools are facing the same issues in regard to the validity of their OTJ data.  One therefore questions just how the Ministry can expect to make accurate comparisons between schools (League Tables). Surely the MoE have a professional obligation to ensure accurate data is used in any form of interschool comparison.  

 

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