Close to 1 million working age adults in New Zealand lack the literacy and numeracy skills needed to function in a modern workplace.New Zealand only has about 4 million people with a good number of them children (presumably excluded from the analysis).
To put it another way, about 4 in 10 (that's 2 in 5) adults have difficulties with reading, writing, maths and communication.
It is somewhat ironic that many people, including teachers, complained about the introduction of national standards (national testing and comparison) in numeracy and literacy some years back. The teaching focus for primary aged children should be the foundational subjects—numeracy and literacy. And this is what many parents want.
It will be interesting to see if the introduction of charter schools (possibly secondary level) will improve our nation's performance.