By RON FANFAIR
The New Zealand Ministry of Education has appointed internationally acclaimed educator Dr. Avis Glaze to an independent technical advisory panel that will support the implementation of national standards in reading, writing and math.
She’s the only non-New Zealander on the five-member panel.
The $36 million National Standards program was introduced in primary and intermediate schools at the start of this term. Schools will assess students’ progress against the Standards and report to parents at least twice a year.
“This group, which has an outstanding mix of education and public policy experience, will be vital in this bedding-in year,” said education minister, Anne Tolley. “It will provide me with independent, free and frank advice on assessment practices in schools and on any refinements that could enhance the effectiveness of the standards.
“This shows we are serious about lifting achievement levels for all children in New Zealand and addressing the unacceptable fact that up to one in five students are leaving school without the basic reading, writing and math skills that they need to succeed in life…It’s important that we get National Standards right to benefit all our young people. If adjustments need to be made, then we will make them, but we cannot continue to stand by while up to 150,000 children are failing in our school system.”
Glaze, who was in New Zealand two weeks ago assisting in the training of staff who will be working with schools, is intrigued by the new challenge.
“I have had the opportunity to be invited to work with educators in many countries,” said Glaze. “I am particularly pleased to be invited to work with New Zealand as it is one of my favourite countries. Their standards are excellent and Minister Tolley is determined to build upon current successes to ensure improvement in achievement for all of the country’s children and particularly for children of Maori and Pacifica descent. They are focused and determined.”
The advisory group will begin its work immediately.
A former Director of Education with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, Glaze also served on the Ontario Royal Commission on Learning and was chosen by the Canadian government to assist with education reform in South Africa.
She was Ontario’s first Chief Student Achievement Officer and Chief Executive Officer of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat where she played a vital role in improving student achievement in the province’s schools prior to becoming the province’s Education Commissioner and senior adviser to the Minister of Education.
Glaze, who has a passion for character development, established Edu-quest International consulting firm that offers a wide range of educational services globally.