Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Coddington’s Liberty Belle – NCEA

Coddington’s Liberty Belle – NCEA

For the past nine years I've been beating my head against a concrete wall and finally the cracks are appearing. That wall started out in about 1995 as Lockwood Smith's "Seamless Education". It is now Trevor Mallard's NCEA.


In this battle I have not been alone, although in the media, few were brave enough to challenge the dumbing down this 'qualification system' aids and abets. Jenny Chamberlain at North & South magazine was one. Lindsay Perigo in The Free Radical was another.


John Morris, headmaster of Auckland Grammar, bravely challenged both National and Labour governments to prove students would benefit from a one-size-fits-all NCEA qualifications system.
And now, if the recent debacle over Cambridge High School isn't enough proof for Education Minister Trevor Mallard, then a weekend newspaper ad should finally convince him that the NCEA must go.

And the statement came from an unexpected quarter.


Otago University Associate Professor in Education Howard Lee went public with the truth that many parents and teachers have known for months. "NCEA is fatally flawed," Howard Lee said in the headline. ".the secondary school assessment system that New Zealand has chosen to implement is fatally flawed and we are positioning high school students as guinea pigs in a bold and risky experiment. We have become obsessed with educational outcomes and disinterested in the processes that underpin effective teaching and learning," this academic continued.


"What the NCEA does is to reduce education to discrete and measurable learning outcomes and then to make students and teachers accountable for those outputs...in breaking subject content down into parts it is rather like dismantling a car engine, identifying all the components but being unable to put it back together again. Knowledge...is not promoted."


And so say all of us.


NCEA is all about credits and nothing about knowledge. It is a funnel through which we attempt to force our brightest, middle and least able students in a socialist attempt to have them all come out the same.


It doesn't work. It has never worked. It will never work, and schools should be allowed to dump the NCEA. I know some schools, teachers and parents like it, and that's fine. I believe in choice, so I wouldn't deny them that. But I reckon if we got some decent competition into our state school system, by allowing the funding to follow the child and all parents (not just the affluent) to have real choice in their child's education, parents would quickly find out just how vapid the NCEA really is.


But competition is the F-word in education. For some bizarre reason, we allow parents to choose their house, their car, the family doctor they send their child to - the politician they vote for - but only parents with money can have choice in education.


The last National Government introduced this system - despite it being totally discredited overseas.

Will Bill English dump the NCEA? Just a few weeks ago his colleague and former Education Minister Lockwood Smith had the grace to tell me he'd made a few mistakes in education, which he'd like to correct.
Like Professor Lee, my concern with NCEA is not "based on a nostalgia-glazed assessment of our education system in the past". Yes, School Certificate had its faults, but Bursary was a gold-plated, internationally recognised exam. So why are we chucking out babies with their Johnsons baby soap murked bathwater?


If National becomes government at the next election and wants to do just one thing for the future generations of New Zealand it will pinch another ACT policy. It will bring back standards and national exams so students, parents, universities and employers have a qualification they can trust.
National would do well to heed the words concluding Professor Lee's advertisement: SAPERE AUDE or DARE TO BE WISE.


Yours in liberty,


Deborah Coddington

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news