New Zealand’s education system isn’t world class.
This is the opinion of Ministry of Education chief executive, Lesley Longstone.
[She] wrote in the ministry’s annual report that New Zealand cannot claim to be world class because Maori and Pasifika children and children from poor communities are underperforming. . .
Not surprisingly teacher unions have gone on the defensive but they’re missing the point.
It doesn’t matter how our education system ranks in the world, what matters is whether it’s good enough.
When one in five leave school without basic literacy and numeracy skills and some students who get to university need remedial help it’s not.
The blame for that can’t all be laid on the system or teachers.
If children get to school without pre-reading skills, shift schools often, have insufficient encouragement and support from home and/or don’t have enough food or sleep the best of teachers will struggle to make a difference.
But some children make good progress in spite of the disadvantages they face while others don’t.
What makes the difference?
If the education system was as good as it needs to be it would not only know the answer to that question but how to apply what makes the difference where it’s lacking.