The value of education for our country’s future and people is universally accepted in politics and academia. This makes trends in New Zealand’s education system deeply worrying.
Over the past two decades, New Zealand’s international education rankings have been steadily declining. For example, the OECD’s PISA surveys have recorded deteriorating results in reading, maths and science since the early 2000s.
Meanwhile, our own Tertiary Education Commission found that 51 percent of Year 11 students with NCEA Level 1 did not achieve the international reading benchmark, and 47 percent did not the reach the international numeracy standard.
Such results are not acceptable.
The Initiative’s education research focuses on ways to systematically improve our students’ education attainment. We are contributing to the debate about the future of the NCEA assessment system. We are engaging in the discourse around the New Zealand curriculum. And we are developing new models and methods that will allow us to better track and analyse school performance.
New Zealand’s goal should be to provide every child access to a world-class education system. Our research is a contribution towards achieving that goal.
Our most important contributions to New Zealand’s education debate today include a series of reports on teacher quality, a series on school performance management, an assessment of NCEA (Spoiled by Choice, 2018), and a ground-breaking research note on the use of education data.
With our work, we have informed the Government’s review of the NCEA system. We also look forward to the Government using our econometric modelling of education results.