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When will Mr English ever get his facts right?

When will Mr English ever get his facts right?

The unrelenting monotony of National Party education spokesman Bill English getting his facts completely wrong continued today, says Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope.

Mr English, determined to undermine the confidence of students and the public in New Zealand's assessment system, several times claimed in Parliament that 140 students could not be told if they had won awards in the 2004 New Zealand Scholarship exams because of a systemic failure.

So wrong was Mr English's wild claim that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority felt compelled to issue a news release correcting him.

It turns out that more than 400 Scholarship students have already been notified of their awards. Of the group of 220 students competing for the 'top in school' awards, the group Mr English claimed had been completely let down, only 15 have yet to be identified.

Mr Benson-Pope says Mr English has been proven wrong on just about every aspect of the assessment system he chooses to discuss.

"He now openly advocates the scaling of exams which was universally rejected by teachers, educationalists, employers and parents and ultimately led to the creation of the NCEA system by the National Party in the first place.

"It is disappointing that Mr English has not once offered to contribute useful and constructive ideas. All he ever uses is unsubstantiated rumour and inuendo to destabilise the system, without ever checking its accuracy.

"The parents and students of New Zealand whom Mr English consistently undermines, certainly deserve better," said Mr Benson-Pope.

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