Slow slide down rankings requires urgent action

Wednesday 4 December 2013, 2:17PM
By Business NZ

The business community will want urgent, focused action to ensure better education performance, says BusinessNZ.

The latest OECD PISA survey shows New Zealand’s performance has dropped in maths, science and reading.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says these subjects are essential for innovation and a competitive economy.

“It is positive that New Zealand results are still above the OECD average, but our slow slide down the rankings serves as a wakeup call and requires urgent action.

“Issues requiring attention include the wide spread of achievement – big differences between higher and lower achieving students – and the fact that the proportion of low achievers is increasing, while higher achievers are doing less well.

“Education Review Office evaluations also show the need for more contextual and student-centred learning and the better use of data to plan for student learning.  We also have to better connect learning with the real world to keep learners engaged.

“It will be important for the Government to act with urgency to ensure that New Zealand remains competitive with other countries.

“The review of professional development is a start but this needs to be integrated into a wider approach for evaluating teachers’ strengths and areas for improvement if we seek a boost to teacher performance and student outcomes.

“We should also look at those countries that have made improvements and learn from them,” Mr O’Reilly said.