The good marks some schoolchildren are getting may be a result not of their ability but of a change in two key tests.
STAR reading and e-asTTle writing tests are important in primary and intermediate schools. About 1200 schools are using STAR, and in term four last year about 80,000 students sat e-asTTle – most students sit the tests two or three times during the year, so progress can be tracked. STAR is owned and run by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER), a highly respected statutory body with a reputation for thorough, credible, unbiased research. The e-asTTle test is owned and run by the Ministry of Education. Both STAR and e-asTTle were revamped recently, with the new versions out in schools last year. Now there appears to be widespread confusion and concern about the unusually high results that these previously trusted and valued tests are producing. ...
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