FRIDAY 16 MARCH 2012
David Shearer Spot on with Focus on Teacher Quality
Labour leader David Shearer was spot on in his speech when he indicated that poor quality teachers should not be
teaching in New Zealand’s schools.
“Poor quality teachers can set children back by as much as a year’s worth of learning,” said Steve Thomas, Senior
Researcher at Maxim Institute.
Thomas said good teachers are extremely important for improving children’s chances of doing better at school.
“Overall, teachers can account for as much as 30 percent of the variance in children’s achievement outcomes-research
from many sources consistently shows this.
“The effect of a good teacher on children’s progress at school can set them up not only for better success at school,
but also for the rest of their life,” said Thomas.
“While the vast majority of teachers do a good job, some are simply not up to standard.”
Mr Shearer said New Zealand needs to focus on how to get the highest quality teachers.
“Creating a common set of teachers standards would be one way Mr Shearer could consider to attract, recruit and retain
more high quality teachers and identify those who are not up to scratch,” said Mr Thomas.
Maxim Institute congratulates Mr Shearer for his comments and urges him to consider teachers standards in the Labour
Party’s education policy.