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Labour must rule out lowering education standards

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 06 March 2023 -

Labour must rule out lowering education standards

The Government must rule out lowering the standards required to obtain the NCEA literacy and numeracy co-requisites, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“Revelations that the Government is considering lowering standards to help students pass shows an astounding lack of ambition from Labour.

“Two-thirds of New Zealand students failed to pass the new minimum literacy and numeracy standards for NCEA.

“Instead of simply dumbing down the tests to make them easier to pass, the Government could actually consider teaching kids more maths, reading and writing before they start secondary school.

"The Royal Society has already recommended that kids spend at least one hour a day learning maths. Why has the Government not acted on this advice?

“Rather than focusing on what students need in primary and intermediate school to be better prepared, the Ministry of Education has blamed the tests themselves, calling into question the use of ‘complex’ words such as tramping and potluck dinner.

“The ministry also requested changes including fewer questions, the use of simpler language, and allowing students to use spell-checking software.

"Instead of dreaming up excuses, the Government should admit our education system is not equipping kids with the knowledge and skills they need.

“Our children deserve better than a Government that would consider lowering standards simply to avoid a bad headline.

"We need a serious plan to deliver kids an education with the basics they need to succeed, not more excuses.

“Labour is spending $5 billion more on education every year but student achievement has nose-dived. National will be laser-focused on lifting student performance, and that starts with a stronger emphasis on maths, reading and writing.”


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