How well matters more than how much

The quality of spending in education is more important than the quantity spent according to the OECD programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Education Minister Hekia Parata said:

New Zealand was singled out as a top performer achieving better-than-average results despite its comparatively low gross domestic product.

Ms Parata says the report shows expenditure levels should not be a barrier to achievement.

“It’s great to see that New Zealand has once again performed well in this international survey.

“However, with one in five students currently leaving school without a qualification, we have still got work to do,” says Ms Parata.

“Our Government’s key objective is to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed. Over the next three years we want to significantly raise achievement for all students, especially those groups of students who have historically under performed.’’

Several factors influence achievement but how well money was spent was more important than how much.

The report showed:

  • Greater national wealth or higher expenditure on education does not guarantee better student performance. Among high income economies, the amount spent on education is less important than how resources are used.
  • Successful systems in high income economies tend to prioritise the quality of teachers over the size of classes.
  • School systems that perform well in PISA believe that all students can achieve and give them the opportunity to do so.

The full report is here.

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