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NZQA does quick paint job on NCEA

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

7 November 2005

NZQA does quick paint job on NCEA

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says the NZQA has backed down on standards and changed the way NCEA exam papers will be marked to avoid another year of bad publicity.

This morning, the head of NZQA, Karen Sewell, said on radio that if early marking of exams shows either too many or too few students are failing, the marking schedule will be revised and marking will start again from scratch.

Mr English says this is a significant backdown for NZQA.

“NCEA has always had an unacceptable level of variability in results from one year to the next and from one subject to another. Passing or failing sometimes depends on nothing more than taking the right subject in the right year.

“This new policy deserves a full explanation. Until now NZQA have refused to accept there is any problem with variability in NCEA results.

“NZQA has now admitted that its system cannot deliver fair results across the board. But this solution is a rushed paint job that does not fix the underlying problems with NCEA.

“NZQA should use fewer standards and put more effort into setting standards and using tools like pre-testing. Exam conditions should also be standardised.

“Education agencies have spent most of this year fighting fires and worrying about elections. They clearly have not had time to fix the underlying problems in NCEA so they have opted for a quick paint job instead,” says Mr English.

ENDS

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