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Substance lost in NCEA spin

Hon Bill English MP National Party Education Spokesman

18 January 2004

Substance lost in NCEA spin

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says all parents will share his anger about the lower standards that will flow from the misleading way that NCEA results are being compiled and marketed.

"There's a deliberate policy to hide failure. That will inevitably lead to lower educational standards."

With NCEA results due out this week, Mr English is writing to newspaper editors throughout New Zealand to raise the alarm about official advice to some schools not to record failed NCEA assessments.

"It fits in with the Government's politically correct view that NCEA is more about achievement than passing or failing - something that we all understand.

"It will lead to lower standards," says Mr English.

"Parents and teachers alike should be alarmed when the measure that's used to compare schools is being rigged.

To add to the confusion some schools have reported all their failures, this make a nonsense of the school results tables that parents rely on.

"That's being supported with advice to schools to get out in the community with their 'good news' stories first and pamphlets urging our kids to spin their results," says Mr English.

He's referring to NZQA pamphlets that show students how to summarise their NCEA results for employers.

"Employers may be deprived of important or useful information and it cheapens the value of our children's achievement.

"Parents, employers and Government funding agencies need accurate reliable performance indicators, not spin and deception," Mr English says.

Ends

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