Hekia Parata has been keeping a low profile as she tries to rebuild her reputation after the class sizes debacle. But she seems to have learned one lesson, as this media release on the Beehive website suggests:
Forum commits to raising achievement goalThe Ministerial Cross-Sector Forum on Raising Achievement has agreed to work together on achieving success for all learners.Forum chair, Education Minister Hekia Parata, welcomed the commitment from all the Forum representatives.“We know that our education system is amongst the best in the world with four out of five kids successfully working towards getting the qualifications they need at school,” says Ms Parata. “But our goal is about getting five out of five.“In the Forum we have the expertise and support of the wider education sector. It was great to agree on a common goal of improving education outcomes for every single learner.”The Forum, which met for the first time today, aims to provide collaborative cross-sector leadership and advice to the Minister on a quality achievement programme for education that will help meet the Government’s Better Public Service Targets of 98 per cent of new school entrants having participated in quality early childhood education and 85 per cent of 18 year-olds having achieved NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification over five years.Today the Forum agreed that New Zealand has an education achievement challenge in front of it and opportunities exist for all learners to improve their educational outcomes.The Forum commenced the task of identifying the key issues which must be addressed in four areas: quality teaching; smarter use of achievement information at individual, school and national levels; strengthening the performance and accountability of schools and education agencies for student achievement; and learning environments that are fit for purpose in the 21st century.Over the coming months the Forum, which includes representatives from primary and secondary schools, early learning and tertiary education sectors, unions, business, academics, iwi and educational experts, will collaborate in small sub groups to identify, clarify, and progress system issues in the four areas.“We have an opportunity to propel our education system, and all our learners, to greater levels of achievement,” says Ms Parata.“I look forward to working with the Forum to identify the steps we can take to achieve this outcome.”The Forum will meet monthly for the rest of the year.
The membership of the Ministerial Forum (which is listed at the foot of the release) is diverse, and representative of all the sector. Many of those on the list have been openly critical of the current and past governments; Ian Leckie from NZEI, Patrick Walsh of the School Trustees' Assn and Robin Duff from the PPTA.