A comprehensive and year-long econometric analysis of data for 400,000 students undertaken by The New Zealand Initiative reveals there are no significant differences in school performance between schools of different deciles.
Adjusted for the different student populations they serve, the vast majority of New Zealand’s secondary schools create the education outcomes we would expect from them.
This finding calls into question the assertion of the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce, led by Bali Haque, which claimed that “quality of our schools varies significantly”. There is no evidence for this statement in the data provided by Statistics New Zealand’s via its Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI).
Commenting on the research, the Initiative’s Executive Director Dr Oliver Hartwich said: “The Tomorrow’s Schools taskforce has recommended broad-sweeping changes to our schools. But such changes need to be based on solid analysis, not just anecdotal evidence.
If the Government proceeds, it will be clear ideology is driving this, not student performance.
The Initiative research is quite ground breaking. They find the difference in outcomes between different schools is due to family background, not what the school does.