Education Ministry considers changes to new literacy and numeracy tests to reduce failure rate

Dr Michael Johnston
Newstalk ZB - Heather Du Plessis-Allan Drive
6 March, 2023

The Education Ministry's considering changes to new literacy and numeracy tests like fewer questions, simpler language and letting students use spell-check.

Documents obtained by RNZ show the Education Ministry and Qualifications Authority have been at odds about the tests' high failure rates.

In a pilot last year, there was a 34 percent pass rate in writing, 56 percent in maths, and 64 percent in reading.

NZ Initiative Senior Fellow Michael Johnston says the Ministry's clutching at straws.

He says it's spent decades presiding over declining standards while ignoring science on the best way to teach those key skills.


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