Promoting Success for Maori Students: Schools Progress (June 2010) : 06/10/2010

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This 2010 report evaluates how schools have promoted success for Maori students since EROs previous national report in 2006. The success of Maori students at school is a matter of national interest and priority. ERO has published five national evaluation reports on this topic since 2001. These have identified system-wide issues and recommended steps to be taken by schools and by the Ministry of Education to promote success for Maori in education. This 2010 ERO evaluation indicates that not all educators have yet recognised their professional responsibility to provide a learning environment that promotes success for Maori students.

Conclusion

This evaluation highlights that many New Zealand schools are not yet demonstrating sufficient commitment to ensuring the progress and achievement of Maori students.

There is some evidence that the quality of teaching for Maori students has improved since 2006. About half of the secondary schools in this study could show improved NCEA results for Maori students since their previous review. In approximately a quarter of primary schools students had improved levels of achievement in literacy and numeracy since the previous ERO review. The quality of achievement data gathered for individual students, including Maori, has improved overall.

Nevertheless, current research information and national and international achievement data continue to show sustained Maori underachievement in education. Despite this well-promulgated evidence, many schools do not yet undertake sufficiently rigorous analysis of student achievement data, or set targets for improved Maori achievement. Many do not implement strategies aimed specifically at making improvements in areas identified, and when strategies are initiated there is limited analysis of outcomes. As a result there are not enough schools where Maori student achievement is comparable to that of non-Maori, or where schools can demonstrate that they are making a difference for these students.

More schools need to do more to promote success for Maori students. They need to:

  • monitor and respond to trends in M?ori student attendance and achievement
  • adopt effective classroom and school-wide practices for assessment, analysis of student achievement information, target setting and evaluation of initiatives
  • improve relationships with wh?nau so that home and school can work in partnership to improve learning
  • build better relationships with M?ori students, to help raise the expectations for achievement while also recognising the importance of te ao M?ori.

Underpinning these is the importance of good classroom teaching and appropriate pedagogy. In combination with strengthening relationships and seeing value in te reo me nga tikanga M?ori there is considerable potential to continue to improve M?ori student achievement in New Zealand schools.

These principles underpin Ka Hikitia Managing for Success, the Ministry of Educations strategy for Maori education. As this review found, many schools have used this document to improve their performance for Maori. However, at this stage all state schools should be well on the way towards implementing this strategy. Those schools that do not yet see the value of building stronger relationships with Maori students and their wh?nau need to use Ka Hikitia to improve their approach for Maori.

A priority of EROs revised methodology for school reviews is an increased focus on schools capacity to promote success for Maori. It is to be hoped that this focus will encourage schools to review their own performance in this area. ERO does not consider any school to be high performing unless the school can demonstrate that most of Maori learners are progressing well and succeeding as Maori.

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