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Parata: 'I'm not rating schools'

Monday 24 Sep 2012 12:10p.m.

Parata: 'I'm not rating schools'

Education Minister Hekia Parata is maintaining her stance that the first round of National Standards data isn't a comparison of schools, and the data should encourage parents to take a wider interest in their children's learning.

The data, made public by Fairfax at the weekend, shows each school’s achievement in numeracy and literacy.

Despite being used to rank schools based on their success, Ms Parata remains adamant ranking is not the purpose of the National Standards scheme.

“This information isn’t set up by the Ministry for comparison. What it does is say; ‘This is what schools have said about themselves’,” she says.

“I’m not rating schools and neither is the Ministry of Education."

The data shows how each school is faring in reading, writing and maths, giving percentages for above average, average, below average and well below average.

It shows:

  • 76 percent of all New Zealand students are at or above average for reading
  • 72 percent of all New Zealand students are at or above average for maths
  • 68 percent of all New Zealand students are at or above average for writing
  • Boys are trailing girls
  • Maori and Pacifika are trailing everyone else

Ms Parata has always maintained the National Standards data would not be used by the Government to create league tables but always knew the media would create their own.

“I think it is public information and it is appropriate that we are discussing it in public,” she told RadioLive this morning.

Ms Parata says the data is not moderated by the Government and is compiled by each school.

“Parents have always compared schools when they are making a judgement about where they are going to send their kid.”

The Ministry will launch its own website on Friday with data from all New Zealand schools.

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