Almost every primary school principal is opposed to any move that could see children and schools compared in a high-stakes environment in the form of league tables because of the serious damage it can cause to quality teaching and learning.
The ability for such tables to be prepared and thus create a high-stakes environment will be possible next year following the Government's decision to introduce new national standards for schools should safeguards not be built in.
Now to be fair to Ernie, he strings his words together in a very coherent manner. Then again, if the Principal of the Principals couldn't do that, then our education system is deeper in crisis than we already thought it was! His piece is worthy of a read in its entirety.
But he ignores one really important fact. For those of us who are parents, choosing a school for our children is a high-stakes decision. They get one shot at education, and if it goes wrong, the consequences are severe. Accordingly, we believe that parents must be able to access all the information that will help them to make the right choice for their children.
And that's why we completely disgaree with the stance that the Principals' federation is taking, and with Ernie Buutveld when he says, in closing:
The principals are not opposed to national standards. Nor are they opposed to plain language reporting. They are not opposed to sharing data within the school community. They are however, for the sake of our children, implacably opposed to the high-stakes environment of league tables.