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Crucial Decision on Reading Due Tomorrow

Crucial Decision on Reading Due Tomorrow

Monday 12 Nov 2001
Donna Awatere Huata
Press Releases -- Primary & Secondary Education

Tomorrow will be the most important day Trevor Mallard spends as Minister of Education, ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata said.

“Mr Mallard’s response to the Education and Science Committee’s Inquiry into the Teaching of Reading is the most crucial announcement he will make.

“The Inquiry’s report has raised everyone’s expectations. We are sick of the excuses made for failure. We must eradicate the institutional bigotry of low expectations for poor children. We need sweeping change.

“Mr Mallard has a rare opportunity. He must adopt all of the report’s fifty-one recommendations, unanimously supported by Select Committee MPs from ACT New Zealand, the Alliance, Labour, National and New Zealand First.

“This is the most wide-reaching and ground-breaking inquiry into literacy education ever held in New Zealand. Mr Mallard must:

Clearly define our national literacy goals and state how these will be achieved;

Announce a re-emphasis on the importance of the development of phonetic, word-level decoding skills in a balanced teaching programme;

Initiate a ‘stocktake’ of reading strategies used in the classroom;

Place emphasis on achieving successful literacy outcomes in the beginning classroom;

Undertake urgent research into the literacy levels of children entering secondary school;

Ensure consistency of teacher education programmes;

Urgently develop more assessment tools for use in Maori-medium schools;

Establish a national competency standard for all students from teacher-training providers;

Restrict graduation for teachers unless they have established high levels of competence in teaching of literacy;

Create a national campaign to counter non-attendance at school;

Dramatically improve professional development opportunities for all teachers of literacy.

ENDS


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