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A number of NZCER staff contribute to our blogs and we link to and draw on external expertise. We hope it is a useful source of information, ideas and support about NZCER's work and wider educational and assessment issues. We welcome your questions and comments.

Please refer to the NZCER community guidelines for participation on NZCER blog posts.

Let’s start off with the million dollar question: Why is it important to assess punctuation and grammar in the classroom?

The teaching and assessing of literacy and numeracy skills has become an important focal points in learning but does that mean it is worth spending much time assessing the more finely-tuned details of semicolons, conjunctions and clauses?

Date posted: 3 October 2013

Teachers need resources that are designed to be a part of their normal classroom programme.

. ‘…much of what teachers and learners do in classrooms can be described as assessment. That is, tasks and questions prompt learners to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills…’  TKI: Assessment for Learning 10 principles 

Date posted: 25 September 2013

Recently, there has been some public debate about the 2012 National Standards results, how these stack up against the results from 2011, and what they mean. But interpreting National Standards results is difficult and the debate sometimes lacks depth.

Date posted: 6 August 2013

In an article in the latest edition of SET Research information for Teachers, we explain how the norms used in the standardised reading test, STAR,  can be  checked and double-checked as more students use the assessment. 

Read rest of post: Checking the STAR norms
Date posted: 9 July 2013

In the previous posting, we talked about the importance of choosing the correct conversion table for reporting standardised test results as stanines. Here we explore some examples. What happens if you choose to use the current year level table when testing at the beginning of the year and again at the end of the year?

Date posted: 4 July 2013

When reporting data from NZCER standardised tests using stanines, you need to think about:

Date posted: 10 April 2013

The original development of the STAR (Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading) Test was carried out for NZCER by Dr Warwick Elley, now Emeritus Professor of Education. He also led the team that revised the test in 2010-2011. He has written a letter to the Listener which is worth repeating here:

Read rest of post: Warwick Elley on STAR
Date posted: 26 March 2013

You may have read that NZCER has organised a series of workshops over the next couple of months.  Thanks to those who have already signed up, we're looking forward to the sessions and working with a range of schools.

Some of the key ideas we will be exploring include:

Date posted: 12 March 2013

Let’s be clear –the revised STAR test does not deliver inflated results. Norms for the revised STAR test were generated on the basis of a carefully drawn national sample involving thousands of students. These norms have since been validated by subsequent collection of data from tens of thousands of students who have used the test in the classroom.

Date posted: 12 March 2013