Anne Tolley 19 September, 2010
Maths results show the need to raise the bar
Education Minister Anne Tolley says the latest results from the National Education Monitoring Project (NEMP) show that maths achievement in primary schools has stood still over the last twelve years.
The report, released today, states that performance in maths did not improve overall between 2005 and 2009, and that for Year 8 students there has been no change for twelve years.
There was only a small improvement in performance for Year 4 students between 1997 and 2009.
Also of concern is the marked decline, from 2005 to 2009, in the performance of Year 8 students on complex multiplications. On top of this, the quick recall of addition and multiplication number facts of Year 4 students has remained at the 2005 level following a substantial decline over the previous four years.
"These results show we need to do more for our students, if they are to learn the basic skills they need to succeed in the modern world," says Mrs Tolley."Through National Standards we are raising the bar for our young people, and setting achievable goals in reading, writing and maths which will give them the chance to reach their potential.
"We want to raise achievement for every single young New Zealander. The Standards will provide vital data so we can target support for the students who are struggling, and they will also identify those children who are doing well but who could do even better.
"Government is investing $36 million in developing new intervention programmes for students who need extra support in literacy and numeracy, and the Ministry of Education is focusing on the frontline to provide specially-designed support for students and teachers.
"To ensure teaching is effective, we are redesigning professional development for principals and teachers to help accelerate student progress across all subject areas.
"This country is ambitious for all of its students. Our top performers are among the best in the world, but we cannot continue to stand still. And while up to one in five of our students is leaving school without the skills they need, we must do everything we can to make sure every child has the opportunity to reach their potential."
The annual NEMP assessment of Year 4 and Year 8 students, which assesses what children ?know and can do', will focus on maths, reading and writing in 2010 to support the implementation of National Standards.
The full report can be viewed at: http://nemp.otago.ac.nz/maths/2009/index.htm