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It's official - anything goes for NCEA

Hon Bill English

National Education Spokesman

17 August 2004

It's official - anything goes for NCEA

The latest NZQA publication on assessment shows why the NCEA is in trouble, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

"At a time when the Government is bagging Cambridge High for being creative with NCEA credits, its own official documents give schools free rein to decide how the same credits can be achieved."

The latest NCEA Update says: If we think more broadly about assessment it is clear that teachers are free to use any valid evidence of achievement they have recorded. It goes on to say that work completed in one subject can be used as evidence of achievement in another.

The document says many teachers are finding innovative and valid ways of recognising achievement.

"In other words, teachers can dish out credits on any basis they choose," says Mr English.

"The NCEA assessment is not widely regarded as valid. Schools and teachers struggle to ensure standards are consistent and fair but the Government doesn't seem to care about standards.

"Students, parents and employers need consistency with qualifications; they cannot have confidence in a system with no clear definition of achievement.

"I am particularly concerned of the affect this will have on less academic students. Some students already believe that non-academic standards are set low so students can pass. Now it's official policy.

"The Government is on a different planet if it thinks this is the way of the future," says Mr English.


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