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One of the best 45 minutes of time I have ever spent - 15 February 2013

We experienced an extremely intelligent, no nonsense, no notes presentation on Education in New Zealand.  What an amazing job Minister of Education, Hon. Hekia Parata, is doing with Innovative Education Initiatives, Policy & Strategy and Raising our children’s achievement levels... I was one of the many guests honoured to be in the presence of such a passionate and articulate Minister of Education.  I wish the rest of New Zealand could hear what we heard and saw this morning.

A subject that was of particular interest is “How International studies show changes must be made to improve our education outcomes”.

Hon. Hekia Parata says two international research studies on student achievement released recently confirm that more work must be done to improve our education system.

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), was completed between November 2010 and October 2011 for Years 5 and 9 and shows marked drops in maths and science achievement, particularly at middle primary school level, and no improvements in reading literacy.

"These studies indicate that we need to increase our focus on improving teaching quality and leadership.

And, as our own research shows, we must give particular attention to transitions – when children move from one level of schooling to the next."

"We must ensure that children develop good reading and writing skills from the moment they start school.  Given the critical role this has in starting children on the right path it would suggest that our best and most experienced teachers are needed most at this level."

Karen Meldrum, COO'EE

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