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PQ 3. Education System—Public Achievement Information

3. Education System—Public Achievement Information
[Sitting date: 24 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:3. Text is subject to correction.]
3. Dr CAM CALDER (National) to the Minister of Education : What recent announcements has she made on Public Achievement Information?
Hon HEKIA PARATA (Minister of Education): Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. Today, I was delighted to release the latest public information from the Ministry of Education on participation and achievement across the education system, including at national, regional, territorial, local authority, and school levels. The information enables all New Zealanders to chart the progress of all children and young people at critical times in their educational journey. The Public Achievement Information released today shows we have more kids starting earlier, staying longer, and gaining better qualifications.
Dr Cam Calder : How is the reporting of achievement information useful?
Hon HEKIA PARATA : It is useful to parents who tell me they like to see how their kids are doing in relation to others, teachers who tell me it helps them to accelerate student progress, and principals who tell me it helps them to know how their school is doing as a whole and in their community. It is useful to kids who tell me they like being successful, to councils that tell me they like knowing how the schools in their areas are doing and about the link to their local economy and employment. It is useful to businesses that tell me this helps them identify opportunities to work more closely with their schools. Armed with this Public Achievement Information, we can all work together to help our kids succeed.
Dr Cam Calder : What progress is being made on national standards across the country?
Hon HEKIA PARATA : We have seen some good progress all over the country over the last 2 years. Fifteen of our 16 regional council areas had increases from 2011 to 2013 in achievement against national standards, including gains for Māori students in 14 of those 16 areas. In the Auckland region, we now know that around 100,000 children are reported as being at or above the national standards for reading, writing, and maths in the 426 schools involved. In the West Coast region over the last 2 years we have seen a 6.5 percent point increase in reading and writing. The reporting of this information involves more than 30,000 teachers in over 2,100 schools assessing the progress of over 400,000 primary kids. The overall consistency of the professional judgments made by these teachers give us confidence we are improving, but we have got more work to do. I want to thank each and every one of these teachers. I seek leave—
Grant Robertson : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think the Minister may have finally been coming to the end of her answer, but I do support the notion that she has got more work to do, though.
Mr SPEAKER : Order! That is not a useful point of order in any way whatsoever.
Hon HEKIA PARATA : I seek leave of the House to table an email exchange between a staff member of the Ministry of Education and the principal of Valley School Pukekohe from May this year. This exchange clearly shows that there was a fuller exchange—
Mr SPEAKER : Order!
Hon HEKIA PARATA : —than the selective email tabled in the House yesterday by Chris Hipkins.
Mr SPEAKER : Order! Order! The rules of Parliament mean there is a chance to describe the document, not to read out the content of the document. It is an email exchange between a principal and a Ministry of Education staffer. Leave is sought to table that exchange of emails. Is there any objection? There is none. It can be tabled.
• Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.
Chris Hipkins : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I just want to raise with you the issue around how that point of order was conducted. There were two things. One is that the Minister was seeking leave to table an email exchange, which she is perfectly at liberty to do. The second is that she appeared to be clarifying answers she gave in response to my questions yesterday, at the same time. There is a process to do both of them, and the Minister is perfectly entitled to do both of them, but she cannot do the second part as a point of order.
Mr SPEAKER : It is an easy matter to resolve. The Minister is perfectly able, as is any member, to seek leave to table a document. If the document is something that is considered informative to members of the House, I will then put the leave to the House. It is then over to the House to decide whether that leave will be granted or denied. In this case the leave was granted. The document will be tabled.
Chris Hipkins : What confidence can the New Zealand public have that the national standards data she has just referred to are reliable measures of student achievement when a report released by her own ministry in September found that national standards had incorrectly measured the achievements of four out of every 10 students—40 percent?
Hon HEKIA PARATA : On that member’s record I would have to see the actual report that is being referred to for its reliability. What I can you is that the information we are releasing is based on schools’ own judgment, their own reporting, and their own data, and I am backing those teachers, unlike that member.

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