Saturday April 29, 2017   Last updated 06:00AM
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Minister Parata praised for challenging system

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Head and shoulders above the rest.

That’s the rating long time educationalist Pem Bird gives Hekia Parata who steps down as Education Minister at the end of the month.

As minister, Ms Parata has embedded national standards testing, chipped away at the Tomorrow’s Schools framework to encourage collaboration between schools, and has set a pathway for major changing to the way schools are funded.

Mr Bird says her most important legacy will be forcing the education system to engage fully with Maori pupils.

"Her ability to bring those at the bottom of the barrel who had been there forever, Maori pupils, and bring them forward and improve their lot in education. Because the system has routinely failed to deliver on best outcomes for tangata whenua," he says.

Mr Bird says a failed education system is a driver of prison numbers.

FULL INTERVIEW: PEM BIRD

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