Information is key to improving education performance

Issue: Volume 95, Number 15

Posted: 22 August 2016
Reference #: 1H9d3r

Public Achievement Information (PAI) data plays an important role in raising student achievement, and improving the performance of our education system, writes Lisa Rodgers, Deputy Secretary Early Learning and Student Achievement at the Ministry of Education.

On 9 August, the Ministry of Education released its Public Achievement Information (PAI) data for 2015.

PAI measures the ‘big things’ about our education system’s performance. It tells us how many children are in early learning, and how children are doing at reading, writing and mathematics. It measures how many young people are achieving NCEA Level 2 in order to move successfully into work, higher education or further training.

But PAI is way more than just a collection of statistics. It plays a vital role in raising student achievement, and in improving school and education system performance.

PAI data can be used by parents to ask what their school is doing to raise student achievement. In turn, schools can talk to parents about how they can help do that as well. Many of our best teachers and school leaders are already using PAI data to design programmes to help their students’ progress, especially those most at risk of underachievement.

For example, the use of PAI data in secondary schools is helping more of our young people achieve NCEA Level 2 than ever before.

In 2015, 51,299 students, or 83.3% of all students, achieved NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification. That’s up 3,120 students since 2011. Last year, 271 secondary schools used their PAI data to identify around 4,000 students at risk of not achieving NCEA Level 2. These students were given individual mentoring, tutoring, and group study assistance programmes to help them achieve the qualification. The Ministry estimates around 7,400 young people have achieved NCEA Level 2 with this sort of help since 2012.

National Standards PAI data is being used in more of our primary schools to allocate extra help to many students, especially with children ‘well below’ their age level for reading, writing or mathematics.

In 2014, 89% of our primary schools used PAI data to give more assistance to children in National Standards. This is up from 30% in 2012. In 2015, 12,000 to 19,000 more children achieved ‘at’ or ‘above’ the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics than in 2012.

Our 117 Communities of Learning (CoL) involve 1,000 schools and 320,000 students. CoL use PAI data to set targets to raise student performance in areas such as maths, literacy and science, and for students at risk of not achieving. PAI data is also helping parents and whānau to support students to work towards their educational and career goals.

Using PAI data in our schools means we can get more help to more of our children and young people who need it most. It means we know where these kids are, and what they need help with. Not having this information, or not using it, lets these kids down.

PAI data is helping teachers, school leaders and parents raise achievement throughout our schooling network. Every day, thousands of our children and young people benefit from its use.

You can access the latest PAI data on the Education Counts website(external link) 

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 6:59 pm, 22 August 2016

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