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Brash: National will overhaul NCEA

Don Brash - National Party Leader 16 February 2005

Brash: National will overhaul NCEA

National Party Leader Don Brash today called for a fundamental review and overhaul of the NCEA.

"Young New Zealanders deserve and have a right to an educational framework that is fair and reliable, that rewards and promotes excellence, and that ensures every child reaches their potential.

"They are not getting this from Labour and the NZQA, whose implementation of the NCEA has been an absolute disgrace and has caused considerable damage to the reputation of our school system. Only National can restore that confidence and return a first-class education system.

"As a matter of priority, the next National Government will appoint an independent review panel, comprising experts in educational assessment, teachers, principals, representatives from the tertiary sector and employers' representatives."

Dr Brash says the group's brief would be wide-ranging but would include the following bottom-lines.

* NCEA standards must be assessed in a way that produces consistent and comparable results from one year to the next, and from one school to the next.

* Inadequate moderation practices must be changed. The current systems are wide open to abuse, as we saw with Cambridge High.

* Failure must be reported. If we don't report failed standards then we can't begin to work out why failure occurred and how it can be fixed.

* We must dump scholarship in its current form and replace it with a high-stakes external exam, where students are ranked and graded.

* The volume of internal assessment in NCEA must be reduced so teachers can focus on teaching.

* The credit value of subject standards must be realigned so students receive more credits for higher-level tasks than for lower-level tasks, like picking up rubbish.

"National wants better for New Zealand. We will stop Labour's culture of complacency and low expectations and restore confidence and standards in the public education system," says Dr Brash.

ENDS

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