Exam fine-tuning pays dividends
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) should be congratulated for the thorough processes it has implemented to ensure that last year’s exams fairly and accurately reflect student achievement, PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said today.
Te Whaiti said the revised marking procedures demonstrated that NCEA could be successful when government agencies were held accountable.
“The result of the reviews and inquiries of last year is that NZQA is becoming more accountable to students and the profession.”
Te Whaiti praised the work of acting NZQA chief executive Karen Sewell for helping to make the Qualifications Authority more open, transparent, and amenable to the views of the profession.
“It’s now up to the new CEO Karen Poutasi to continue the good work that Sewell has started.”
Te Whaiti said the early results indicated that there were still subject specific issues to address, such as standards that may be at the wrong level or not being assessed appropriately, and areas where teachers could benefit from more professional development.
“It is good that this process is helping to identify where fine-tuning needs to happen.”
Te Whaiti said that teachers had put their heart and soul into making NCEA successful for students – regardless of their philosophical views about it.
“Teachers need to be congratulated for the work they are doing, and there is still more work to be done.
“One of the big challenges is to ensure that the teaching profession does not collapse under the weight of NCEA assessment.
“We need to use assessment for teaching and learning rather than having assessment determine what is taught and learnt.”