general education schools
At year 8 level, 120 schools were selected randomly from national
lists of state, integrated and private schools teaching at that level,
with their probability of selection proportional to the number of
students enrolled in the level. The process used ensured that each
region was fairly represented. Schools with fewer than four students
enrolled at the given level were excluded from these main samples,
as were special schools and Mäori immersion schools (such as
Kura Kaupapa Mäori).
Sampling Mäori immersion schools
were selected randomly from Mäori immersion schools (such as
Kura Kaupapa Mäori) that had at least 4 year 8 students, and
from other schools that had at least 4 year 8 students in classes
classified as Level 1 immersion (80 to 100 percent of instruction
taking place in Mäori). Half of the chosen schools were immersion
schools and half were general education schools with immersion classes
(reflecting the similar numbers of students nationally in the two
types of programme).
the 120 chosen schools in the general education sample had less than
12 year 8 students. For each of these schools, we identified the nearest
small school meeting our criteria to be paired with the first school.
Wherever possible, schools with 8 to 11 students were paired with
schools with 4 to 7 students, and vice versa. However, the travelling
distances between the schools were also taken into account. Three
of the 10 schools in the Mäori immersion sample also needed to
be paired with other schools of the same type.
In telephone calls with the principals, we briefly explained
the purpose of national monitoring, the safeguards for schools and
students, and the practical demands that participation would make
on schools and students. We informed the principals about the materials
which would be arriving in the school (a copy of a 20 minute NEMP
videotape plus copies for all staff and trustees of the general NEMP
brochure and the information booklet for sample schools). We asked
the principals to consult with their staff and Board of Trustees and
confirm their participation. Similar procedures were followed with
the principals of the 13 schools in the Mäori immersion sample,
but for them brochures in both Mäori and English were sent.
With their confirmation of participation, each school sent a
list of the names of all year 8 students on their roll. Using computer
generated random numbers, we randomly selected the required number
of students (12, or 4 plus 8 in a pair of small schools), at the same
time clustering them into random groups of four students (which would
be allocated different sets of assessment tasks). The schools were
then sent a list of their selected students and invited to inform
us if special care would be needed in assessing any of those students
(e.g. students with disabilities or new settlers in New Zealand with
very limited skills in English). Where necessary, replacement students
were chosen, using the same random sampling procedure. Less than 2
percent of students were replaced for reasons other than moving school
or planned absence for the full assessment week.
Following these discussions with the school, Project staff prepared
letters to all of the parents, including a copy of the NEMP brochure,
and asked the schools to address the letters and mail them. Parents
were told they could obtain further information from Project staff
(using an 0800 number) or their school principal, and advised that
they had the right to ask that their child be excluded from the assessment.
Less than half a percent of the selected students were replaced because
they or their parents declined to participate.
arrangement with schools
On the basis of preferences expressed by the schools, we then
allocated each school to one of the five assessment weeks available
and gave them contact information for the two teachers who would come
to the school for a week to conduct the assessments. We also provided
information about the assessment schedule and the space and furniture
requirements, offering to pay for hire of a nearby facility if the
school was too crowded to accommodate the assessment programme.
purposes of this report, we were interested in four groups of year