New statistics released by the Ministry of Education (MoE) reveal that the number of charter school leavers attaining NCEA level two or above is considerably lower than those from other schools.
During 2016, only 59.7 per cent of students from charter schools left left with NCEA level two or above compared with a system-wide figure of 80.3 per cent across all schools. Looking more closely at specific groups, the system-level result for decile three schools was 74.3 per cent and for Māori students, across all deciles, it was 66.5 per cent.
The school leavers’ metric is used as the performance standard in the charter school contracts. In 2013, then minister of education, Hekia Parata, said there was to be “no compromise on the system level benchmarks”.
The decile three system-level result for 2012 had been used as the baseline for the charter schools in their first year, i.e. 66.9 per cent for the 2014 year. The contracts then set out a series of performance standards for subsequent years, culminating in the target of 85 per cent of school leavers attaining NCEA level two or above by 2017.[There were no contract performance standards set above NCEA level two. The contracts for primary and middle schools are based on performance standards using National Standards for years one to eight].
There were 124 school leavers from charter schools in 2016 and this is the breakdown of the highest qualification they left school with:
Below level one: 25 (20.2 per cent)
Level one: 25 (20.2 per cent)
Level two 45 (36.3 per cent)
Level three (14 11.3 per cent0
UE 15 (12.1 per cent)
And at the top end, numbers above level two fall away quite markedly. The proportion of school leavers attaining NCEA level three or above, for example, was 23.4 per cent compared to 53.9 per cent for the system as a whole. Only 12.1 per cent of school leavers attained UE compared with a system-wide figure of 40.7 per cent.