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National criticises its own design of NCEA results

18 January 2004 Media Statement

National criticises its own design of NCEA results

The National party is criticising the NCEA results system which it designed when Bill English was a cabinet minister, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"It's unfortunate that Bill English can't remember, or is deliberately forgetting what he agreed to when he was in Cabinet. The record of learning, set up under National when Mr English was a cabinet minister, records what is achieved under the NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement). I have no plans to change this," Trevor Mallard said.

"It is my intention to make available statistics that show achievement, merit and excellent results per school, as a percentage of the number of year 11 and year 12 students in each school. This means it will not be possible for a school to look better as a result of not enrolling or withdrawing students. This is the analysis that I relied on last year."

"Under the old School Certificate system, many schools did not even bother entering students of lower ability, so the statistical analysis on which comparisons were made, has always been very suspect."

Trevor Mallard said the statistics would be made available once final results are out.

"It's nonsense to say that NCEA is lowering standards. The interim NCEA results that will be released later this week will show that schools are using the flexibility of the new system to shape programmes that are challenging for individual students, and that also better meet their needs.

"The new scholarship examinations, to be held for the first time this year, will be the most challenging academic exercise ever in secondary schools in New Zealand and probably the toughest in the western world," Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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