National Will Bring Back Exams
Saturday 5 May 2001
National plans to introduce exams for secondary school students from 2003 to counter concerns about the National Certificate of Educational Achievement, National's Education spokesperson Gerry Brownlee said to the party's Northern Region Conference in Auckland today.
"We've been raising our concerns about the NCEA since February. Mr Mallard has done nothing to fix it, except introduce a meaningless grade point average mark.
"National recognises the need for schools, students and parents to have certainty about our qualifications system. That's why we've announced our plans today.
"The exams will have marks awarded so students know exactly how well they've done. We will be working with experts in the education field to establish a New Zealand based external exam.
"National firmly believes that scholarship is worth encouraging so we will call the new qualifications the 'National Education Scholarship'. It will be offered at years 11, 12 and 13.
"The National Education Scholarship will be a qualification that means something.
"In 2003 some students could be studying for the NCEA, others will opt for the National Education Scholarship, some will seek and be awarded both," Mr Brownlee said.
Gerry Brownlee also announced National's plans to introduce national testing at primary school level so progress towards achieving the goal of 'every nine-year-old able to read, write and do maths' can be measured. "We also need to identify those kids that need help so programmes can be better targeted.
"We'll do basic assessments, like those already done by many teachers in New Zealand, from day one in primary school. The difference will be that every teacher will be assessing their pupils and they'll all be measuring the same thing. We will test how well each pupil has progressed in reading, writing and maths at age eight and again at age 12," Mr Brownlee said.