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Decline turns into free-fall under National

Chris
HIPKINS
Education Spokesperson

4 December 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Decline turns into free-fall under National

The global decline of New Zealand’s education system has turned into a free-fall under National, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“The dramatic drop in the international standing of our education system should be a real wake-up call to the National government. Their current approach simply isn’t working.

“National’s obsession with constant testing and assessment is taking up so much teacher time they actually haven’t got time to do what they’re there to do – teach.

“If a child comes to school hungry, putting them on the scales every day to see whether they’re gaining weight won’t help. The same principle applies to their learning. Constantly testing their level of reading and writing ability won’t do anything to improve it – quality teaching will.

“We already know who the kids are who are falling behind. Every teacher can tell us which kids in their class are struggling. What we should be doing is focusing resources and attention to actually fixing the problem.

“Labour will focus attention on the programmes that work. We will extend Reading Recovery so that all the kids who are falling behind in their reading can catch-up. We’re also going to develop a Maths Recovery programme and improve professional development opportunities for teachers so that they can improve their own skills.

“National’s approach to educational underachievement has been to tie schools up in red tape. We need to free teachers and schools up to actually spend time teaching kids. That’s what Labour will do,” says Chris Hipkins.

ENDS

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