Education standards slip under National

Hekia Parata’s year of back-downs, stuff-ups and bungles has been capped off with proof that the education of New Zealand children is going backwards on National’s watch, says Chris Hipkins.

The latest international data in the TIMSS and PIRLS reports shows the performance of Kiwi school students in science and maths slipping.  Performance in reading has remained static.

“This data shows a worrying trend.  Science and maths are critical subjects for both the future success of our children and our economy.

“And it is not like the Government has not had plenty of opportunity to make progress. The last such reports at the end of 2008 showed a surprising dip in results for science.  But rather than sit up and take notice, the National-led Government pulled funding for science advisors in primary schools.

“The Government also chose not to make science a priority under its flagship National Standards policy.  As schools put more focus on the National Standards subjects of writing, reading and maths other subjects such as science were always likely to suffer.

“National has taken our world-class education system and let it drift backwards.  These reports should be a wake-up call for the Minister. 

“Hekia Parata should stop spending so much time trying to close schools and focus on lifting educational achievement.  Our children deserve nothing less,” says Chris Hipkins.