The scaremongering among some groups over National Standards is ignoring the most important point.

What is wrong with parents being alerted to the fact their child is not doing well?

The focus is on individuals, engaging parents more in learning and any remedial requirements, and ensuring that we improve the literacy and numeracy of those currently missing out.  The National Standards are not a ‘pass’ or fail’ measured against other students.  It is designed to ensure that the child is not falling behind in literacy and numeracy – it is an individualized test to assist the individual student and identify gaps in learning for remedial action.

The negative publicity from unions and others shows a level of self-interest or lack of understanding which ignored the point of the National Standards.

We have a lot of very good teachers and very good students.  This policy is aimed at helping those who aren’t getting a basic level in the core competency subjects.  It’s about children and ensuring their future, and anything that assists them should be welcomed, not pilloried.  Another important aspect is that children who are failing can be helped.  The Government has put $111 million towards this goal of helping those children who need remedial assistance.

These standards are valid, reliable and evidence-based; rather than an anecdotal approach.

If you listen to talkback, read blog comments, and most of all talk to parents, they are very keen on getting a solid, fact-based assessment on how their child is doing.  This is all about improvement and ensuring no child is left without a basic education.  The only people against this are the unions and the Labour Party, and their self-interest has to be put in question.  Do they not want our children to get the best start possible?