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apple on book1

Show me the evidence

The football season has begun. Not the FIFA cup, but the political football that is education. And when it comes to the fate of partnership schools, the Labour team’s position has been ambiguous, at best. The survival of these schools, if Labour gets into Government, has been changing from one day to the next, and from one member to the next. Two Sundays ago, Labour list candidate Willie Jackson, who helped set up a partnership school, suggested that Labour would... Read more

Martine Udahemuka
Insights newsletter
19 May, 2017

The number one step

Treating symptoms without diagnosing the disease can provide temporary relief but is not the best way to find the cure in the long run.So it is with medicine, as it is with policy. It is difficult to solve a problem with policy if you do not know where the root cause of the problem lies.New Zealand students are presenting with symptoms of ailing numeracy. At The Initiative, we want to diagnose the underlying cause so we can prescribe the best... Read more

Dr Rachel Hodder
Insights Newsletter
28 April, 2017
Wellington cablecar

Tuis, Kiwis and bus drivers

It has been two weeks since I started work in New Zealand, at the Initiative. Starting a new job in a new country, there are a few things to get used to. But I would not have guessed that the bus ride home would be such a highlight of my day. For those unaccustomed to Wellington buses, this is what happens: Each time someone alights, they break the otherwise contemplative commuter silence and yell “Thanks driver!” all the way up to... Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights Newsletter
28 April, 2017
Decade of Debt cover border

Media Release: Tertiary education, and student loan scheme, in need of shake-up

The New Zealand Productivity Commission’s report on tertiary education shows that the tertiary education system needs fundamental change. An important part of that change is introducing interest on new student loans. The New Zealand Initiative today welcomed the Productivity Commission’s report, New Models of Tertiary Education. The report points to many promising reforms to improve tertiary performance. It also demonstrates the systematic damaging effects of the government’s interest-free loan scheme. The Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, said “When the government writes off... Read more

Media Release
21 March, 2017
apple on book1

Black cats and education

According to Oscar Wilde, “religion is like a blind man looking in a black room for a black cat that isn’t there, and finding it”. Well, in a way that is almost the definition of teacher quality.Defining, let alone measuring and rewarding teacher quality is notoriously difficult. Anyone who claims the opposite is either naïve or blinded by ideology.But just because it is hard should not be an excuse for not trying. Read more

Martine Udahemuka
Insights Newsletter
10 March, 2017
windy road

Breaking from the beaten path

There was a dirt road north of our old farm in Manitoba. Grass grew on the hump between the wheel tracks. Ruts the width of a truck’s axles would get worn into the road. That was all well enough if you were driving the truck, but not so great if you needed to take a car down the track. The axles didn’t fit the tired old ruts.This week’s debate around the Initiative’s report on building successful schools reminded me of... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
24 February, 2017

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