New Zealand's education system has ranked 8th in a new global
league table published by education firm Pearson.
The test compares the performance of 50 'developed world'
countries in cognitive skills and education attainment,
drawing on existing data from the international
OECD-Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA),
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study,
and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study
Pearson's chief education adviser, Sir Michael Barber, said
successful countries gave teachers a high status and had a
"culture" of education.
The report finds Finland and South Korea have emerged as
"education superpowers". Finland tops the PISA rankings.
"It is hard to imagine two more different systems: the latter
[South Korea] is frequently characterised as test-driven and
rigid with students putting in extraordinary work time; the
Finnish system is much more relaxed and flexible," Mr Barber
"Closer examination shows that both countries develop
high-quality teachers, value accountability, and have a moral
mission that underlies education efforts."
Secondary Principals Association president Patrick Walsh said
it was significant New Zealand remained in the top 10
education performers in the developed world.
However, he said New Zealand still had significant issues to
address around equity and poverty.
The rankings combine international test results and data such
as graduation rates between 2006 and 2010.
The latest league table also includes figures on how many
people go on to university.
New Zealand ranked 7th in the 2009 PISA test, which assesses
15-year-olds' achievement in reading, mathematics and