Prepared by Paul D. Goren, July 2009
with funding from the sponsors of the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy
Paul Goren is Vice President, Research and Knowledge Use at CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) in Chicago. He was previously Lewis-Sebring Director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute and Senior Vice President at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago. Paul has also served as Director of Child and Youth Development at the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, Executive Director for Policy and Strategic Services at the Minneapolis Public Schools and Education Policy Director at the National Governors’ Association in Washington, DC. He earned his PhD in education policy and administration from Stanford University, a Master’s in public policy from The University of Texas, and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Williams College.
During Paul’s Ian Axford Fellowship exchange to New Zealand he was based at the Ministry of Education in Wellington, where he researched the implementation of the new Māori education strategy.
This paper provides observations and commentary on the initial implementation of Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2008-2012. Ka Hikitia‘s intent is to transform the Ministry of Education’s work in early childhood education, compulsory schooling, and tertiary education to improve Māori student achievement.
The paper tells the story of how a policy framework travels – how research, data, and practice influence its development – and how people make sense of it during early implementation. It documents the context leading to its development, highlights emerging issues, and concludes with recommendations to identify high priority actions for focused attention; create opportunities for educators and policy staff to make sense of Ka Hikitia through learning conversations and professional development; pay close attention to voices of students; and maintain a relentless focus on Māori student achievement.
As a formative study, the paper provides a mirror on how a high priority policy framework is implemented. The paper intends to help New Zealanders who work on education make even better sense of Ka Hikitia, towards the ultimate goal of improving Māori student achievement. For American colleagues there are important lessons learned on policy implementation from New Zealand’s effort to implement this high priority policy framework.
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