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NCEA Marking System Will Be A Shambles

NZQA Audit Shows NCEA Marking System Will Be A Shambles

National's Education spokesman Gerry Brownlee has revealed an NZQA audit which proves once and for all that the grades given to students under the Government's NCEA proposal will be unreliable.

The NZQA sample audit of internal assessment for School Certificate subjects showed that only one in five teachers is giving grades which accurately reflect the performance of their students relative to students at other schools.

NZQA audited the internal assessment marks given at 70 schools for School Certificate subjects. It found that just 22% of the marks given were acceptable. 78 percent of teachers had graded in a manner which the NZQA did not feel was acceptable.

"The NCEA relies heavily on internal assessment, and there is no capacity for regular audits. What this audit shows is that there is endemic and significant variance in internal assessment marks from school to school.

"Subjective grading of internal assessment by teachers could well turn NCEA marks into a popularity contest between students, judged by the teacher.

"The discrepancy between marking at individual schools isn't something to be sniffed at. In nearly a third of cases the teachers were giving grades 10 percent or more higher than the students' work actually deserved. This sort of unacceptable marking, in four out of five schools, means some smart kids will be labelled dumb, and some dumb kids will be labelled smart - simply on the basis of variation between teachers' approaches to marking internal assessment. That affects the student's self-image, their future career prospects and even the way they are treated by peers and parents.

"Exams that don't tally between individual schools and individual teachers are of little value. Yet this grading system is at the heart of the NCEA. That really does serve to show up what a poor system the NCEA will be," Gerry Brownlee said.


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