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Report: No accountability for NCEA exams

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

10 August 2005

Report: No accountability for NCEA exams

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says a select committee report into the setting of NCEA exams shows there is a lack of accountability for the way NCEA exams and exam questions are set.

The report is the result of an inquiry into political bias at the NZQA after an NCEA Level 1 History question asked students to choose two of three people from whose perspective they were to write: two prominent Maori leaders - Dame Whina Cooper and Eva Rickard - and 'A National Party Member of Parliament not sympathetic to Maori concerns'.

"In my view, this particular question showed a clear bias," says Mr English.

"Not only was the question factually incorrect but it relied on unfair, left-wing stereotypes of the National Party.

"However, even more disturbing is the fact that no one person is accountable for exam questions and the NZQA has tried very hard to avoid accountability altogether."

The select committee report comes on top of a damning report into 2004 NCEA exams.

Mr English says both reports show the NZQA needs a dramatic change in attitude before it is up to the job of overseeing our national secondary schools qualification.

"The select committee report has highlighted arrogant attitudes and loose process that has led to unfair assessment for students sitting the NCEA.

"The select committee has done students a favour by trawling through the detail of how exams are set and pointing to a need for more scrutiny and accountability."


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