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High Levels of Student Success without National Standards

High Levels of Student Success without National Standards

The latest international survey of student achievement shows New Zealand students are among the best in the world and that success has nothing to do with National Standards, says the education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa.

The OECD Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA) compares achievement levels among 15 year olds from 65 countries in literacy, maths and science.

The 2009 survey shows New Zealand students are well above the OECD, performing in the top four in reading and science and in the top ten for maths.

It also shows that while the performance of other countries such as Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom are dropping, New Zealand students are holding their own.

“The Government likes to tell us the system is failing in order to justify its increasingly unpopular policy of National Standards in primary schools. This survey is an outstanding commentary on where New Zealand students sit internationally and puts paid to the Government’s attempts to manufacture a crisis in education,” says NZEI President Frances Nelson.

“Using a survey which shows we’re among the best in the world to claim we need National Standards is a long bow to draw.”

The PISA survey says 14 percent of New Zealand students are at the bottom in reading but that is still well below the OECD average.

Frances Nelson says “that means our underachieving tail is proportionately less than others. Schools know who their poorer performers are and have no confidence that a simplistic set of untried and untested National Standards will help address the complex issues of raising their achievement”.

“This survey should serve as an endorsement of what we are doing well, and a reminder that these high levels of success have been achieved without National Standards," she says.


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