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National Standards

The National party introduced a policy of National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics for primary-aged students when it became the government in 2008. Draft standards were released for consultation in May 2009 and the standards introduced at the beginning of the 2010 school year.

NZCER has been involved with the National Standards in a number of ways. For example, in November 2008, we wrote a position paper which set down the underlying principles we felt were important and outlined the international experience and the potential pitfalls of national standards.

Researchers acted as advisers to both the literacy and numeracy working groups developing the standards within the Ministry of Education; we were contracted by the Ministry to analyse the submissions on the draft standards; and we have been consulted on the script scrutiny exercise which aimed to align existing tests with the National Standards.

NZCER papers and material relevant to the National Standards are posted here.

Recent National Standards research publications

Author(s): Jan Eyre and Eliza de Waal
Research report - 2019
Author(s): Elliot Lawes

This is a series of three reports which use data from NZCER's PATs to explore student achievement and progress in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Research report - 2016
Author(s): Linda Bonne

This report looks at how National Standards are viewed and used in primary and intermediate schools in 2016, almost seven years since they were introduced.

Research report - 2016
Author(s): Cathy Wylie and Linda Bonne

This report presents the main findings from the NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools, which was conducted in July and August, 2013.

Research report - 2014
Author(s): Cathy Wylie and Melanie Berg

This paper analyses  responses to questions about  National Standards in NZCER's 2013 National Survey of Primary and Intermediate Schools. NZCER chief researcher Cathy Wylie presented the findings to the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) conference in Dunedin on Thursday 28 November.

Conference paper - 2013
Author(s): Rosemary Hipkins and Edith Hodgen
Conference presentation - 2011
Author(s): Rosemary Hipkins and Sally Robertson

NZCER has begun a research project on the learning that can happen as teachers moderate student work. The project will explore what happens as schools enact moderation, and how moderation processes might be enhanced to support teacher professional learning that leads to changes in practice. Primary schools teachers now need to assess student work in relation to National Standard benchmarks. Moderation conversations that provide rich professional learning about possible avenues for lifting achievement in the classroom will be needed to support that work. Chief researcher Rosemary Hipkins and researcher Sally Robertson’s literature synthesis, Moderation and Teacher Learning, explores opportunities for professional learning that might occur when teachers work together to moderate their judgements about students’ work.

Research report - 2011