Who achieves what in secondary schooling? A conceptual and empirical analysis
This study by Liz Gordon with statistical analysis by Brian Easton aims to answer a series of questions relating to the currently popular political discourse that one in five students are failing in secondary school.
Key findings are:
- 1 in 5 secondary students not achieving NCEA level 2 currently. This is an arbitrary measure of success and not useful in helping find solutions for groups who do not achieve.
- No crisis of underachievement in New Zealand; we are a world-leading public education system.
- A long nose of high achievement, rather a long nose of overachievement.
- NZ students in the top Socio-Economic (SE) quartile outperform similar students in all OECD countries.Lowest SE quartile students are sixth in the world relative to other countries' lowest SE quartile.
- Only 14% do not reach the international measure of educational success (OECD average is 18%).
- Disproportionately this 14% were Pasifika, Māori boys and students from poorer families.
- Disadvantage for Māori is heavily linked to gender and low SE status.
Two sources of achievement were mainly used in this document: National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results and the results of the very detailed Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 study undertaken by the OECD.