Fairness is a part of New Zealanders' DNA.
Most of us don't believe we should be living in identical houses, driving the same model of car or holidaying in the same places. But we do believe that every child should start life with an opportunity to fulfil her or his potential.
Hence the impact low socio-economic factors have on student outcomes is a concern.
However, these factors are often over-stated. In New Zealand we have many low decile schools that are achieving outstanding results and some higher decile schools that, frankly, could do better.
The question for the Government is what can it do to further raise achievement for kids from poorer families.
We have not been short of advice.
We have been told we should fund school breakfasts, then school lunches, reduce class sizes, introduce performance pay, lengthen school days, shorten school days and a multitude of other things.
We have responded to concerns with investments such as the increase in benefits for families in hardship, free doctors visits for children under the age of 13, the fruit in low decile schools programme and the breakfasts that are available to every school.
If we had unlimited resources, some others would be nice to do, but the majority of the suggestions that have been made fall into the category of what one of New Zealand's acclaimed education researchers Professor John Hattie calls the "politics of distraction".
They either make no difference, or a relatively small difference, to student learning.
What makes the biggest difference to a kid's education is something every kid and parent knows - the quality of the teaching in the classroom. Other critical variables are the quality of school leadership, parental engagement and community expectations.
Great teachers and principals make a difference. So do positive relationships between parents and teachers that focus on learning.
That is why the thrust of our work in education has been to foster greater collaboration between teachers and schools, make teaching a more attractive career option, improve on-the-job training for teachers, put kids at the centre of the education system, and make sure parents and whanau have the information they need to play an active role in their kids' education.
The good news is we are making progress.
As the Herald reported on Wednesday, the gap between the students who left decile 1 to 3 schools with NCEA Level 2 or above and the students who left decile 8 to 10 school with equivalent qualifications narrowed by five percentage points, or 16 per cent, between 2009 and 2014.
The gap between students from decile 1 and decile 10 schools narrowed even further, by just over 20 per cent.
That has not happened by accident. It is the consequence of an enormous amount of hard work by teachers and principals.
It is also the consequence of this Government's unrelenting focus on raising achievement for all students.
Is there still more to do? Absolutely. Are we focused on what more we can do? Yes.
Some of the decisions we have taken have been tough, some controversial, but they have all been taken with the same intention - to better prepare our kids, and New Zealand, for the future.
New Zealand is a small country with a small population. We cannot afford to squander even one of our 4.6 million Kiwis, and we are determined not to do so.
With the assistance of the profession we are making progress, but we will not be satisfied until all kids have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.