The interviewer might have been prudent to ask Ms Parata what the PACT system is for, what data it will hold, how teachers and their students' performances will be linked and whether any of that information will be used to determine teacher pay or school funding. That's the next thing to look into, because therein lies the answers to what the end game is.
PISA is notoriously shaky in terms of reliability. I remember being quite taken with it until I did much more research and discovered how small the samples are, how contentious the data analysis is, and how easy it is to potentially manipulate.
As with any form of test, it is dangerous to accept results at face value and in isolation of other information.
The trouble is, when we have seen obfuscation from Mr Parata on so very many occasions previously only to discover later that there were indeed preconceived plans, it is no wonder people are mistrustful of her. She speaks in riddles, refuses to give straight answers, get cross if asked to speak plainly (Tuesday in the House was yet another example of this), and has just not lead people to believe she is being honest.
As the saying goes - actions speak louder than words.
With respect, to argue the system as was didn't do you any harm is a non sequitur and doesn't mean that system was the best then or is now for the majority of students.
The world you were being taught for no longer exists. Mine neither. No-one can get by with one narrow set of skills in the working world any more - it is exceedingly rare for people not to have a number of careers, as jobs are lost and people have to change direction. Basic skills are still drilled - times tables and the like. But they are low level skills, and that method is no good for higher-order skills,
Students need more than their times tables and The Charge of the Light Brigade under their belts. They need to be able to solve problems, invent, analyse, discuss lucidly, adapt, work in varied situations, and be life-long learners.
The system as it stands needs to be further improved. But these reforms are not the way. They are there to serve business, not students, and will serve both the students and the country as a whole very poorly if allowed to continue.
So very well said, and a sage warning to all Kiwis of any political persuasion that these measures will, if left to continue, lead to the ruination of our school system for decades to come. And those generations of students will be the ones running the country when we are old. We fail them at our peril.