Changing our secondary schools
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This is a powerful critique of two decades of educational reform in New Zealand, from an educator who was deeply involved. It is also a provocative call for action.
Bali Haque has been both a secondary school principal required to implement reform and a senior public servant in the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) tasked with pushing through changes.
The book analyses four major reforms since 1989: Tomorrow’s Schools, the NCEA, the revised New Zealand Curriculum and the National Standards. It explores the role of the Ministry of Education, the PPTA, and secondary school principals, and asks some fundamental questions about how we define and measure school and teacher quality and the extent to which schools and teachers can be expected to overcome socioeconomic disadvantage in homes. It examines how well ERO makes decisions about school quality, how useful our decile system is, and the extent to which NCEA results provide any useful measure of school quality.
In a final “future pathways” section, the author sets out his proposals to address the problems and concerns raised throughout the book.