Who achieves what in secondary schooling? A conceptual and empirical analysis

PPTA Te Wehengarua commissioned "Who achieves what in secondary schooling? A conceptual and empirical analysis" to examine who is 'failing' in New Zealand schools, with a particular emphasis on secondary schooling

roads silhouettes oneinfive july13sm

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, Māori boys and students from poorer families.
  • Disadvantage for Māori 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.


Last modified on Monday, 14 November 2016 15:54