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NCEA: Students deserve better

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

6 July 2006

NCEA: Students deserve better

National Education spokesman Bill English says Education Minister Steve Maharey has dashed hopes of any meaningful changes to NCEA despite a critical government report.

On television last night, Mr Maharey suggested that only cosmetic changes will be made to NCEA grades and reporting, which the Ministry of Education report shows are responsible for a lack of student motivation.

Mr English says he is disappointed that the Minister specifically ruled out using more grades to reward different levels of performance.

About 50 per cent of students get the ‘achieved’grade, which could cover grades of 35 to 70 per cent.

“It’s no wonder some students don't make an effort when they see other students doing much less and getting the same reward,” says Mr English.

“Students will respond to a challenge if they see a challenge. Because the Government makes it easy, students take it easy.

“This system drives students to mediocrity and they are so much better than that.

“Unfortunately, Labour believes the best way to help the students at the bottom of the pack is to hold everyone else back. That’s wrong, but it seems increasingly unlikely that there will be any change under Mr Maharey’s stewardship.

“Students and teachers will be frustrated by Labour’s refusal to act on a government report showing that NCEA encourages mediocrity among students,” says Mr English.


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