New Zealand Labour Party

NZ student performance slips in international study - again

The continuing fall in Kiwi kids’ performance in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study shows the damage being inflicted by National’s cuts to education and one-size-fits-all approach, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

“For years, National has starved our schools of funding. This is the result.

“Hekia Parata and the National government can try and spin all they like, but they can’t hide from the numbers. New Zealand students average scores across science, reading and maths have all fallen again. Without a complete change in direction, things will keep getting worse.

“Even more concerning is the fact that the number of Kiwi kids in the lowest proficiency levels has increased across all three of the areas measured as well.

“In science, the number of our students in the lowest two levels has increased from 13 percent in 2009 to 17 percent in 2015. In reading, the numbers have increased from 13 percent in 2009 to 16 percent in 2015. In maths, the numbers of kids at the lowest proficiency levels have almost doubled from 13 percent in 2009 to 22 percent in 2015.

“But it’s not just the poorer performing students who are slipping. The proportion of top performing students in each subject is falling.

“The continual decline in the performance of New Zealand students is serious and worrying.

“National’s standardisation, one-size-fits-all approach has failed, just as all the research said it would.

“Let’s be clear, there is nothing to celebrate in these figures. Our kids deserve better, and that’s what the next Labour government will deliver.

“Labour will end National’s funding freeze so that our schools get the resources that they need. We’ll scrap National’s one-size-fits-all approach, cut red-tape, and let schools focus on teaching a broad and varied curriculum. We will invest in recruiting, retaining, and providing ongoing development to excellent teachers,” says Chris Hipkins.