A ‘rot at the core of schooling’? The new report that gets education in NZ wrong

New Zealand’s schools are far from perfect, but Auckland school principal Claire Amos argues that a newly-released report critical of our education system is riddled with biased assumptions.

This week the New Zealand Initiative published their latest missive addressing the supposed “rot at the core of schooling in New Zealand”. Briar Lipson’s report titled New Zealand’s Education Delusion: How bad ideas ruined a once world-leading school system claims to explore “the origins and consequences of New Zealand’s unchecked adherence to child-centred orthodoxy, contrasts the scientific consensus about how children learn with the different and, in many ways, contradictory advice given to educators and policymakers, it exposes how parts of the research community confuse evidence with values, and uncovers how curriculum and assessment policy rest on a flawed philosophy”.

In plain English, the author claims that New Zealand education is in the grips of a veritable death spiral as the result

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Ministry rejects scathing report claiming to expose ‘rot at the core of schooling in NZ’



text: Briar Lipson on The AM Show.


© Video – The AM Show; Images – The AM Show/NZ Initiative
Briar Lipson on The AM Show.

The Ministry of Education is brushing off a new report which claims to have uncovered a “rot at the core of schooling in New Zealand”. 

The New Zealand Initiative says Kiwi kids’ declining success in literacy and maths is down to a focus on the “flawed philosophy” of “child-centred learning”.

“We used to be the envy of the world,” report author Briar Lipson told The AM Show on Wednesday.

“Just 20 years ago we were third in the whole world for reading and maths for 15-year-olds, and since then we’ve done nothing but decline. In reading we’re now sixth, and 19th for maths.” 

At the same time as NCEA pass rates have climbed, our students have dropped in the international rankings. 

“We follow what’s called child-centred learning – that sounds like a

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