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Commentary: Towards defining, assessing and reporting against national standards for literacy and numeracy in New Zealand

Alison Gilmore, Terry Crooks, Charles Darr, John Hattie, Jeff Smith and Lisa Smith

The New Zealand government’s Crusade for Literacy and Numeracy stipulates that national standards will be set in literacy and numeracy; that every primary and intermediate student will be assessed regularly against the national standards; and that every primary and intermediate school will report to parents in plain English about how their child is doing compared to national standards and compared to other children their age. This paper proposes a series of principles that should underlie the design, assessment and reporting of national standards with the aim of improving the literacy and numeracy achievement of students but continuing to value a broad-balanced curriculum; recognising and supporting the professional expertise and work of teachers and schools; and enhancing the educational experiences and outcomes for all students.

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