Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Bill English - National Education May 5 2006

05 May 2006

Looking for Advice

Officially everyone wants every young person to be in a mainstream classroom. But there is more and more evidence that competent teachers struggle to keep control of, let alone teach very badly behaved students. But there seems to be more badly behaved students in classrooms and it's just not reasonable to expect teachers to deal with all their problems.

A few million over 4 years will employ some bureaucrats filling forms but will do nothing to help classroom teachers with a serious problem. Research into educational effects shows the biggest negative effect on a students learning is other disruptive students in the class. So we can't have it both ways. Teachers can't be expected to teach each child as well as manage very bad behaviour. So why force a very badly behaved student into a mainstream classroom?

NCEA Variability is Back

Students who work hard all year deserve fair and consistent assessment. They deserve at least to get the same chance to succeed as similar students in previous years. Unfortunately, NCEA is still not delivering fair assessment, particularly in high-stakes level 2 and 3 external exams. Analysis shows that thousands of students across a wide range of standards would have passed if they sat the exam last year, but this year they failed. Thirty per cent of all standards fell outside the profiles of Expected Performance as set by NZQA, so even by their own measure NCEA has a long way to go.

How We Know It's Wrong

The assessment systems used in New Zealand, such as AEMP, PATS and the international tests like PISA, show over many years that one cohort of students is fairly similar to another. All assessment systems except NCEA show variability up to about 3%. NCEA shows variability up to 15%, sometimes 20%. NZQA told the select committee that they now believe that 7%-10% of variability is acceptable. But dozens of standards in 2005 fell outside this range. A significant proportion of NCEA did not meet either of the standards that NZQA set, so how can Steve Maharey and NZQA say it's all fixed? There is more to come on this.

Groundhog Day in Tertiaryland

The new tertiary education strategy is seductively elegant, well crafted, and remarkably similar to what the Government said seven years ago, and it will be just as ineffective. Complexity and cost will multiply. The Government already spends $140 million a year running the system, and they readily acknowledge the new system will cost more.

Universities will ignore it - again. Small polytechnics will make a grab for PTE and ITO revenue as they dress up as regional "hubs". This grab for power and revenue will be dressed up in talk in regional consultation. There is more to come on this.

Speech of the Year - so far

I attended the Wintec Trades Training graduation. The Mayor of Otorohanga District gave an inspiring graduation address on the pride and significance of trades - several cuts above the usual graduation clichés and the sort of vision young New Zealanders setting out on a trade need to hear more often.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election