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School leaver statistics

School leaver statistics

Claims made yesterday by the Green MP Metiria Turei that the New Zealand education system is failing Maori and Pacific Island students are based on a misunderstanding of recently released data.

Ms Turei's comments that numbers of students leaving school without formal qualifications had risen over that last two years, were based on school leaving statistics that cannot be compared with data from previous years. A change in how qualifications are measured means the 2002 National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) data cannot be meaningfully compared with previous School Certificate statistics.

The 2002 results will provide baseline data that will enable student achievement to be tracked in future years, offering an in-depth and detailed source of information so we can help students achieve to their fullest potential.

Acting Education Minister Steve Maharey said one of the government’s top education priorities is to reduce underachievement in learning for every single student, regardless of their background.

“We can now identify weak spots in students’ learning and make targeted changes in teaching and learning to fix those weak spots. We will be able to track over the years whether those changes are working. Before NCEA, none of that was possible.

“This array of information for Mâori and Pacific students is revealing. We know that at tertiary level Mâori learners are doing better under the National Qualifications Framework, and experience particular success and higher levels of achievement in the arts, health and physical education. Now we’ll be able to track the progress of Mâori learners over the years,” Steve Maharey said.

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