UE pass rates for Maori have dropped from 53% to 36%.
For those who thought having a Maori Minister of Education would help, well, now we know...
Pasifika pass rates are also down, from a shit 47% to a really shit 34%.
NCEA standards were raised last year after concerns on the number of first year uni students dropping out (22% of Maori, 11% of Pakeha). Retention and completion are key indicators of institutional success (and therefore funding).
And while public comments on our Universities are always full of disdain for a tertiary education, I always argue that graduate numbers and diversity are fundamental to economic productivity. A degree also opens the world for our young people, socially, culturally, and - I'd never knock this last reason - economically.
Without tertiary-educated Maori, the so-called Maori economy will continue to be a price-taking commodity export business and the wider NZ economy will continue to flatline.
So, what now?
I'd dump Hekia Parata, pump money into high-school tutoring for our students, and pump more money into university tutoring.
I'd ban salad forks too, but that's just a personal thang...