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National Standards results show improvement in Hekia Parata’s reading, writing and maths

Prime Minister John Key said that today’s results were “great for Hekia,” and that he and his cabinet were “all very proud.”

Prime Minister John Key said that today’s results were “great for Hekia,” and that he and his cabinet were “all very proud.”

The National Government is winning praise this afternoon after its annual National Standards results showed a vast improvement in the reading, writing and maths ability of Education Minister Hekia Parata.

The data released today by the Ministry of Education showed that Parata’s personal reading score increased from 58.2% in 2011 to 77.4% in 2012. Additionally, her writing score increased from 55.7% to 70% and her maths score from 48% to 73.6%, figures the ministry says demonstrate “significant and sustained improvement.”

Parata unveiled the National Standards data earlier today at a pre-arranged press conference.

“While there is much work still to be done,” said Parata, “I am pleased to announce that I continue to make significant improvements in my mental arithmetic and basic language skills. I trust that you will find far fewer spelling mistakes in this year’s report.”

She struggled for several moments to read the last two words of her prewritten remarks.

“Th-th… Th-th… th-thank you,” she said, and then smiled at the press pool, who cheered and applauded her.

Prime Minister John Key was pleased by today’s data, and said it was the result of “many positive steps taken to improve Hekia Parata’s learning.”

“We’re very proud of her,” he added.

Labour leader David Shearer welcomed today’s figures, saying he was pleased that Parata had made significant gains. But he cautioned that while National’s education policy was working well for ministers, it was doing little for his own reading comprehension, which as far as he could tell, was only getting worse.