Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

New Zealand Has Largest Reading Gap

New Zealand Has Largest Reading Gap

Wednesday 28 Aug 2002

The real news from the latest international literacy comparison is that New Zealand has the largest reading gap in the developed world, ACT Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata said today.

"The Education Minister has some gall to sell the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) as good news when it actually reveals New Zealand has the least consistent results of any developed nation in the world.

"While our top students might be pretty good, we've got an equal number of kids who are among the worst readers in the world.

"This study shows fourteen percent of New Zealand kids read at the lowest level - that's a higher percentage than Finland, Korea, Canada, Japan or Ireland.

"Because poor reading is more prevalent among boys, the poor and non-Pakeha, the Minister and his bureaucrats blame our reading gap on economic and cultural differences. That is a blatant cop-out that deserves no credence. Perhaps our reading gap does arise from these differences. So what? We know it is not inevitable - research proves literacy gaps only persist where schools fail to provide effective instruction.

"The Minister has rejected all calls for change. He refuses to increase literacy training in teachers colleges, despite clear evidence that the top obstruction to effective literacy education is a lack of teacher knowledge and skills. He ideologically refuses to introduce phonics training alongside the whole language method, despite evidence that this would particularly help Maori and Pacific Island children. He will not track at-risk children's literacy.

"Our massive reading gap shows Trevor Mallard has failed to lift the basic standard in New Zealand schools," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

Donna Awatere Huata has recently published a book, "The Reading Race: how every child can learn to read", about literacy education in New Zealand.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages