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Government shows contempt for students

Hon Bill English - National Party Education Spokesman 1 March 2005

Government shows contempt for students

Labour revealed today that they do not back the credibility of the 2004 NCEA results, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

"Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope also revealed that the results will be investigated by a person with no expertise in teaching or assessment."

Answering questions in Parliament, Mr Benson-Pope admitted he could not agree with NZQA's claim that variability in results was 'as expected', and said he was 'not yet assured that the level of variability that was observed in the 2004 results was appropriate or acceptable'.

"Students, parents and teachers will be appalled that the Government no longer believes the 2004 NCEA results are valid," says Mr English. "This throws doubt on the NCEA results for thousands of students."

Mr Benson-Pope said he had asked the Sate Services Commission to extend its investigation of the performance of NZQA to include variability in NCEA results. The SSC investigation will be carried out by Doug Martin.

Mr English says Doug Martin is now an industrial relations and corporate strategy expert. He worked for the last National government as a health adviser.

"He would make no claim himself to expertise relevant to NCEA," Mr English says.

"Labour has refused to take NCEA problems seriously. Evidence accumulates every day that variability between years and between subjects punishes students for problems with the assessment system.

"Disillusionment among teachers and students continues to grow as they study results for 2004 and as revelations of incompetent administration multiply.

"Variability is a critical issue for students, but Labour is treating them with contempt. The review is an attempt to blame officials for Labour's bad policy and arrogance. If they are going to spend public money they could at least use someone who knows what they are doing".

ENDS


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