A new report released today by the Education Review Office (ERO) highlights what it believes are the three “most pressing” issues for New Zealand’s education system.
ERO says that it is important for schools to understand these three issues if New Zealand is to raise the achievement of all learners.
The findings in the report, Evaluation at a Glance: Priority Learners in New Zealand Schools, are a synthesis of 15 national evaluation reports produced by ERO over the past four years about primary and secondary schools.
Dr Graham Stoop, Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer for the Education Review Office, says that together these reports provide compelling evidence and it’s time for schools to take note and start making the changes needed.
“Some of the same issues from four years ago are still coming through today,” he says.
“The Government has a set a target of 85 percent of 18 year olds achieving NCEA Level Two or equivalent by 2017. Schools need to urgently start addressing the issues identified in our latest report if this target has any chance of being met.
“By raising these issues we want to encourage the start of a bold transformation that we would like to see happen in the education sector, especially for the groups of priority learners.”
The three issues all relate to how well schools are focusing on providing an education that addresses the needs of students.
Issue One: The need to shift the focus to student-centred learning.
Issue Two: The need to knowledgeably implement a responsive and rich curriculum.
Issue Three: The need to use assessment information to know about, and plan for, students’ learning.
In its report ERO says: “New Zealand prides itself on its child-centred approach to learning, yet ERO’s national evaluations would suggest that practice is not matching the rhetoric. ERO has found that some schools are not positioning students at the centre of learning and teaching. Students have simply been forgotten amongst the daily business of ‘delivering’ education, including meeting the requirements of NCEA.”
It also says: “In many ways New Zealand can be proud of having an education system that positions us amongst the better performing nations in the international educational rankings. However, we know that the significant gap which exists between our top performing students and our lowest performing students (the priority learners) must be urgently addressed.”
Dr Stoop says “it is ERO’s great privilege to be in classrooms every day and to see good teaching practice in action. There are wonderful examples happening right across New Zealand and we are pleased to be able to include these in our reports.”
This new report includes examples of good practice to guide schools for improving their practice.
Read the report