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Outstanding results in reading and writing

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education

13 April 2008 Media Statement
Outstanding results in reading and writing

Results from an innovative project designed to lift reading and writing skills have been hugely successful, Education Minister Chris Carter says.

The $3.8 million-a-year Literacy Professional Development Project, begun in 2004, now involves almost 7000 students up to Year 8 at 127 schools.

The latest evaluation measured whether the second group of students to go through the programme had improved their reading and writing to the same extent as the first group did. It found:

* the improvement for Students in Years 4-6 in LPDP schools was twice that of the average student.

* The bottom 20 percent of students began catching up to the average level of achievement, making double the progress of other students.

* Pasifika students made more progress than average in both reading and writing.

* Boys in all year groups showed greater than average improvement, and are catching up to girls.

“The fact this project is showing these kinds of results is very, very pleasing,” Chris Carter said.

“That such significant gains are being made by students at risk of the lowest achievement levels is exactly what we hoped to see.”

The Literacy Professional Development Project involves a professional development facilitator going into each school to “teach the teachers” how best to use the tools proven to be most effective in raising literacy skills.

Schools are involved in the project for two years and focus on either reading or writing. Students are assessed at the beginning, mid-way and end of the project using nationally-accepted assessment tools including asTTle (Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning).


Questions and Answers
Literacy Professional Development Project Cohort 2 Report

Q. What is the Literacy Professional Development Project (LPDP)?

A. The LPDP provides schools with an evidence-based professional development programme which aims to improve student learning and achievement in literacy.

Q. How long has it been running?

A. The Literacy Professional Development Project (LPDP) began in March 2004. 391 schools and more than 4412 teachers have participated to date. Schools work within the project for two years.

Q. What does the LPDP do?

A. The LPDP aims to improve student achievement. It provides schools with a professional development programme which focuses on improving student learning and achievement in literacy through evidence-based practice. The project also has a focus on improving teacher content knowledge, pedagogy and practice, and on building effective professional learning communities.

Q. What impact is the LPDP having?

A. Since the project began in 2004, two patterns have emerged in the findings:

* After taking into account expected growth and maturation, students’ gains in reading and writing were twice those that could be expected without the intervention.
* Even more importantly, the schools accelerated the rate of progress for the majority of the ‘at risk’ students by four times the expected gains.

Q. How do you measure the impact?

A. The impact is measured in “effect size”. An effect size of 0.50 shows students are making moderate progress as compared to those not on the intervention, but it demonstrates that there is a measurable impact. An effect size of 0.80 is a substantial improvement. Effect sizes above 1.00 represent enormous improvement among students on the intervention.

Q. What does this report look at?

A. This report examines the 127 schools that joined the LPDP in February 2006 (Cohort 2). It examines evidence for improved student achievement, and how what impact changes to the LPDP had on students.

Q. What did the report find?

A. As with earlier reports, it showed that the LPDP was successful in raising students’ overall achievement in reading and writing. It was especially successful in accelerating the rate of progress for the students who were at risk of underachieving.

The key findings are that:

* For all year groups, the effect over the two years of the project was huge and much greater than would be expected without participation in the project.

* For all groups of students in Years 1-2, there was a noticeable improvement for all tasks

* For students in Years 4–8, the growth was more than twice what would generally be expected. The effect size was 0.96 in reading schools, and 1.05 in writing schools.

* For all year groups, the progress for the lowest 20% of students was double that of the whole cohort (all participating students in that year).

Q. What difference has the LPDP made to Pasifika students?

A. At the start of the LPDP, Pasifika students in these schools were over-represented in the lower bands of achievement and under-represented in the higher bands for reading and writing.

The report found that there was a particularly large shift in Pasifika students reading and writing during the two years of the LPDP at these schools.

The effect size was 1.30 in reading schools, and 1.15 in writing schools

Q. What difference has the LPDP made to Maori students?

A: There is a wealth of evidence (for example, the 2006 PISA study) to show that Maori students are generally over-represented in the lower levels of achievement in reading and writing in New Zealand. The same is true for Pasifika students.

In Literacy Professional Development schools, Maori achievement was at the expected level for the average student, meaning that these students were not over-represented at the lowest levels.

This may appear to be a modest improvement but represents real progress in Maori educational achievement.

Q. What difference has the LPDP made for boys?

A. Boys achievement improved across the board. Their effect size improvement for reading was 0.95 (compared 0.96 for all students) and 1.09 for writing (compared with 1.05 for all students).

What this means is that boys in LPDP schools have, in effect, caught up with girls in terms of reading and writing achievement.

Q. What schools participated in the LPDP for this report?

School Region
Albany School Auckland
Amisfield School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Aria School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Ascot Community School Otago/Southland
Aurora College Otago/Southland
Avondale Intermediate Auckland
Bayswater School Auckland
Belmont Christian Academy Taranaki
Bridge Pa School Hawkes Bay
Broad Bay School Otago/Southland
Bucklands Beach Primary School Auckland
Bunnythorpe School Manawatu/Wanganui
Burnside Primary School Canterbury/West Coast
Cashmere Avenue School Wellington
Central New Brighton School Canterbury/West Coast
Christchurch East School Canterbury/West Coast
David Henry School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Devonport School Auckland
Dominion Road School Auckland
Duvauchelle School Canterbury/West Coast
Dyer Street School Wellington
Edmonton School Auckland
Epsom Normal School Auckland
Fairfield Intermediate Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Fenwick School Otago/Southland
Fergusson Intermediate Wellington
Fernworth Primary School Otago/Southland
Frasertown School Hawkes Bay
Geraldine Primary School Canterbury/West Coast
Greerton Village School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Hampden School Otago/Southland
Hapuku School Canterbury/West Coast
Hay Park School Auckland
Henderson Intermediate Auckland
Hinuera School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Hobsonville School Auckland
Hukanui School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Kaikoura High School Canterbury/West Coast
Kaikoura Primary School Canterbury/West Coast
Kaikoura Suburban School Canterbury/West Coast
Kelvin Road School Auckland
Kereru School Hawkes Bay
Kirkwood Intermediate Canterbury/West Coast
Konini School (Auckland) Auckland
Koraunui School Wellington
Koromatua School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Laingholm School Auckland
Leigh School Auckland
MacAndrew Bay School Otago/Southland
Makahu School Taranaki
Mangakino Area School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Mangaorapa School Hawkes Bay
Mangere East School Auckland
Mansell Senior School Auckland
Marfell School Taranaki
Matiere School Manawatu/Wanganui
Myross Bush School Otago/Southland
Naenae Intermediate Wellington
Naenae School Wellington
New River Primary Otago/Southland
Newfield Park School Otago/Southland
Ngaere School Taranaki
Normandale School Wellington
North New Brighton School Canterbury/West Coast
Oamaru North School Otago/Southland
Omokoroa No 1 School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Omokoroa Point School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Orini Combined School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Otahuhu Intermediate Auckland
Otumoetai School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Our Lady of Fatima School (Christchurch) Canterbury/West Coast
Owhango School Manawatu/Wanganui
Pakotai School Northland
Papakura Central School Auckland
Parakai School Auckland
Peachgrove Intermediate Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Pembroke School (Oamaru) Otago/Southland
Pinehaven School Wellington
Portobello School Otago/Southland
Poukawa School Hawkes Bay
Prospect School Auckland
Pukehou School Hawkes Bay
Pukekohe Intermediate Auckland
Pukenui School (Te Kuiti) Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Ramanui School Taranaki
Rata Street School Wellington
Redwood School (Tawa) Wellington
Riverton School Otago/Southland
Roseneath School Wellington
Sacred Heart College (Auckland) Auckland
Somerset Crescent School Manawatu/Wanganui
St. Albans School Canterbury/West Coast
St. Benedict's School (Khandallah) Wellington
St. Brigid's School (Tainui) Otago/Southland
St. Francis De Sales School (Island Bay) Wellington
St. Francis Xavier School (Tawa) Wellington
St. Joseph's School (Grey Lynn) Auckland
St. Joseph's School (Kaikoura) Canterbury/West Coast
St. Joseph's School (Temuka) Canterbury/West Coast
St. Mark's School (Christchurch) Canterbury/West Coast
St. Mary's School (Palmerston North) Manawatu/Wanganui
St. Michael's School (Remuera) Auckland
St. Patrick's School (Invercargill) Otago/Southland
St. Paul's School (Massey) Auckland
Stanley Bay School Auckland
Tahatai Coast School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Taradale Intermediate Hawkes Bay
Tarrangower School Manawatu/Wanganui
Taumarunui Primary School Manawatu/Wanganui
Tauwhare School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Tawhai School Wellington
Te Kuiti Primary School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Te Kura O Waikaremoana Hawkes Bay
Te Puke Primary School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Toko School Taranaki
Totara School Otago/Southland
Tui Glen School Wellington
Urenui School Taranaki
Waimarama School Hawkes Bay
Waimata School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Waipu School Northland
Waitoa School Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Gisborne
Wakaaranga School Auckland
Westown School Taranaki
Woodbank School Canterbury/West Coast
Woodlands Full Primary School Otago/Southland
Worser Bay School Wellington


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