Authored by the Initiative’s chief economist Dr Eric Crampton, Seeing the problem, but missing the point explains that more work should be done to analyse the performance of New Zealand’s schools.
“The government is right to wish to erase the stigma attached to lower decile schools. While lower decile schools fare worse in league tables of NCEA performance, those performance differences are largely due to factors outside of the school’s control,” says Crampton.
The Initiative proposes to make greater use of data on the family background of students to assess schools’ performance. This would not only help end decile stigma, but it would also help teachers, leaders and school boards to govern and improve their schools.
“There is an immense opportunity in using New Zealand’s excellent data infrastructure to improve excellence and equity in our education system. Minor tweaks to the decile funding model do little to further that worthy goal,” says Crampton.