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Insight and excellence: school success in New Zealand

Academic performance High school students Secondary education New Zealand

The author presents three case studies showing how three secondary schools performed before and after The New Zealand Initiative's tool separated the contribution of family background from the contribution of each school. The three case studies are presented as three individual school reports that provide a more accurate and fairer picture of the schools’ performance over time and in relation to all other secondary schools in New Zealand. Importantly, across the three school reports, evidence demonstrates several examples of high performance in the school system, some making it into the top 25% in both NCEA levels 1 and 2 and University Entrance attainment. The tool shows schools improving significantly over time, in some cases jumping significantly above the national average. Along with providing an in-depth analysis of the results, the author discusses how the reports can help principals and boards of trustees keep their schools on track and achieve the best education outcomes for students.

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