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Minister Casts Doubt On Survey

17 July 2002

Minister Casts Doubt On Survey

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said a survey released on NCEA today was politically motivated and fundamentally flawed.

“I think the National Party is trying to panic parents even though the system that is in place is the one developed under National,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The questions are leading and a two-thirds non-response casts doubt over the results,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Most teachers, and employers, are supportive of NCEA in principle. The school certificate system is past its use-by date. A minority of teachers oppose NCEA outright. Mr Newton is one such teacher. He spends a lot of his time trying to drum up opposition and create unrest among many thousands of teachers who have a genuine desire for the system to work.

“Of course there are teething problems. I am more interested in working constructively with teachers to overcome those problems.

“That is why I have directed the Ministry of Education to reduce the workload associated with the implementation of NCEA. That is why NZQA is employing experienced former teachers to work closely and directly with schools to help them manage their assessment process. That is why we are introducing systems to share good practice. Lots of schools – especially those who have used unit standards for several years have adjusted to NCEA easily.”

Trevor Mallard said he also encouraged the news media to seek independent expert advice on the quality of the survey.

“If you have a particular barrel to push, it is not hard to write a survey biased towards your way of thinking. I believe an independent survey would produce a different result.

“It is also important to remember that secondary teachers are in the middle of industrial action over their collective agreement. I therefore would not be surprised teachers thought of this survey as an opportunity to push their industrial cause,” Trevor Mallard said.


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