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NCEA Will Dumb Down Education System – ACT

Education Spokesperson Donna Awatere Huata said today she welcomed National Party MP Gerry Brownlee’s decision to now oppose the National Certificate of Education Achievement.

“I agree with Mr Brownlee’s comments that ‘children will be working towards a qualification that in reality has very little meaning’.

“This is what I have been saying for a long time. The NCEA experiment is an unreliable and untested assessment scheme and will only dumb down our education system.”

Mrs Huata said she was baffled as to why the Minister of Education would not listen to the thousands of concerned teachers and parents who realise their children will be working towards a worthless piece of paper in 2002.

“The Minister of Education has blurred the edges concerning assessment. Research by Professor Cedric Hall shows that NCEA test scores will be more than twice as unreliable as current exams.

“Under the NCEA if a student scores 50 percent their actual ability could fall anywhere between 29 percent and 71 percent. This is ridiculous. If students are to achieve excellence in education their assessment must be accurate.

“Similar assessment systems for senior students have failed miserably in Scotland and Australia, and yet the Minister of Education wants to implement the NCEA policy and let students shoulder the disastrous mess the scheme will leave.

“I have been advised that many schools will take up their own external assessment and implement baccalaureate exams, as well as the NCEA. This will assure students of reliable marks and percentages. This a good indication that teachers and principals already distrust the new scheme.

“We need proper benchmarks and assessment in education if we are to lift the level of student achievement. I believe we need to aim for excellence, knowing that our children will be completing internationally recognised qualifications. Then they will be able to compete in a global environment. I’m sorry, but the NCEA does not pass the test,” Mrs Huata said.


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