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Consistency key to teacher confidence

Consistency key to teacher confidence

The 2005 NCEA results show a big improvement in consistency that should help boost teacher confidence in the NCEA, PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said today.

“The wide variability in results in past years was identified by teachers and the State Services Commission as undermining confidence in the NCEA. Teachers were doing their best but couldn’t have faith in the results. Now they can.”

Te Whaiti said the NCEA results would provide a wealth of data nationally to inform policy at the school level to help teachers focus on what works best for students.

“There are many positives. The overall reduction in variation between years shows NZQA’s better processes.

“The increase in the number of students leaving schools with qualifications, and achieving the basics – literacy and numeracy – over the first three years suggests improvements in the quality of teaching as well as improved guidance to students about what they need to do to go further.

“The fact that some students are achieving Level 1 credits at year 13, or Level 3 at year 11 is positive because it suggests NCEA is enabling students to achieve at their own pace. You are no longer branded a failure if you don’t get all your NCEA level 1 credits at year 11.”

However, Te Whaiti was concerned that some long-term trends had barely changed. “Maori and Pasifika students still lag behind other students and the gap between boys and girls has stayed the same.

“Government needs to provide more support for communities, parents and schools to work together to reduce those gaps.”

Te Whaiti said teachers would continue to advocate for improvements to the NCEA.

“PPTA is currently working with the Ministry to introduce senior subject advisers to build teachers’ assessment expertise and their confidence in developing programmes that work best for students.

“The Association also continues to remind the Government of the need to increase secondary schools’ operations grants to take account of the costs of implementing the NCEA.

“Clearly there is still more work to be done.”

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