Catherine Delahunty

NZ fail in PISA scores

by Catherine Delahunty

New Zealand has slipped dramatically in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) which reports every 3 years on what 15 year olds know and what they can do with what they know, across the world.

New Zealand’s education ranking has fallen from seventh to 18th in science, from 12th to 23rd in maths, and from seventh to 13th in reading, according to a report released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) last night.

What is even more serious is the identification of increasing educational inequity and serious economic disadvantage affecting students in our country. We are doing badly and it’s getting worse.

One day the Government might like to act on these issues instead of more data collecting from shonky standards and failed privatisation initiatives. The PISA report calls on countries to invest heavily in professional development but under National there have cuts to school advisors and professional development in science, drama and the arts. The latest research on Nationals Standards also indicates a narrowing of the curriculum in some classrooms.

The PISA results are not the whole story. A creative and innovative education system is not based on ranking students but the OECD studies do show trends. One trend is that many countries are steadily improving despite huge social disadvantage but we are failing, particularly in the last five years. We can do better; we can support great local public quality education that is culturally responsive. That is why I am hosting a forum at Parliament tomorrow with some amazing practitioners and academics on relevant themes from assessment, equity, accessibility, Te Tiriti and cultural strength and restorative justice in education.

The Green Party is working for an education system that will support good lives and fair futures for all of our students.

Published in Education by Catherine Delahunty on Wed, December 4th, 2013   

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