The terrible numeracy and literacy results

The NZ Initiative have highlighted the results from a pilot test against proposed numeracy and literacy standards for students. Those meeting the standard were:

  1. Reading 66.9%
  2. Numeracy 65.3%
  3. Writing 34.5%

Apart from this being terrible for the students, it also poses a problem:

However, there is a dilemma for the Ministry of Education. The new literacy and numeracy
would put in place a much-needed credential for these key skills. But should the Ministry go
ahead with them if doing so mean that two thirds of New Zealand students would leave
school without an certificate?

Their solution is:

  1. Implement the literacy and numeracy standards, as planned in 2024, but not as corequisites for NCEA. Instead, they should contribute to a stand-alone literacy and
    numeracy certificate. Students who hold it will be credentialled as having sufficient
    literacy and numeracy for work and life.
  2. Respecify the literacy and numeracy corequisite for NCEA. They should be at the
    highest level possible that will maintain an acceptable attainment rate for NCEA.
  3. Urgently reform literacy and numeracy teaching at primary level. To avoid
    perpetuating the poor literacy and numeracy of young New Zealanders evinced in
    the TEC and Ministry reports cited here. A scientifically proven, structured approach
    to teaching must systematically be adopted.
  4. Introduce and fund structured literacy and numeracy programmes for Years 7-10.
    These are needed for students who have come through primary school without
    having been taught these key skills effectively.
  5. Stipulate a time at which the piloted standards will become corequisites for NCEA.
    It is important that a specific time is stipulated. Otherwise, the impetus to reform
    the way in which literacy and numeracy are taught in New Zealand schools may be
    lost. The task of remediating the problem created by decades of ineffective teaching
    is formidable. Given the size of the task, implementation in about 2027 may be

The key is 3 and 4 – improving the literacy and numeracy of students.

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