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English backs baseless Maxim research

21 February 2006

English backs baseless Maxim research

Bill English is relying on shoddy research from the Maxim Institute to back his policy of more competition between schools, Education Minister Steve Maharey said today.

"This report is totally without merit, yet he is continuing to use it to make his case," Steve Maharey said. "Nobody in the research community would regard this as anything other than opinion masquerading as research."

Analysis by the Ministry of Education found that the report:
- Doesn't accurately represent what New Zealand parents think (despite its title 'what parents really think about schooling')
- Bases many of its findings on US not New Zealand cases
- Uses New Zealand data that is over 10 years old
- Includes only two questions to which New Zealand parents responded (the report itself states 'given the simplicity of the questions, it is not surprising how parents have responded' (p7)

"The government is interested in high standards in education based on quality research, which is why we would never countenance a report like this one," Steve Maharey said.

The Maxim report can be viewed at http://www.maxim.org.nz/


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