Steiner schools in New Zealand are off the hook over standards, ensures their minister of education. That means, they don’t have to adhere to them. And Steiner school students don’t get a chance to learn what children in other schools are privileged enough to learn.
The letter said the special character of the school would not be jeopardised, and schools would not be required to change their programmes.
“The Ministry is fully aware of the special character of these schools and you can assure both [names blanked out] that younger students not meeting national standards will not make Steiner schools a target for closure.
“You are welcome to tell your constituents that the implementations of National Standards will not require Steiner schools to change their programmes.”
That is, they won’t have to teach the children basics in reading, writing and maths when other schools are required to do this. Nor will they have to teach the basics of any other subjects, because that’s not really possible when you haven’t taught reading and maths. Instead the children will be doing eurythmy and painting water colour blobs. Way to go! What they don’t realize is that children who are not meeting national standards — because they attend schools that don’t have to adhere to them — will be locked into that particular educational environment. They can’t transfer easily to other schools, when they’re getting bored or their parents begin to realize their mistake. They’re left behind, unless they have a strong personal capacity to catch up or parents who can afford private tutoring.
The Taikura school (which seems to be the center of attention) is, naturally, happy about the development:
“… we are pleased that the minister is sending a strong signal that the Steiner schools’ special characters will not be jeopardised.”