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English misrepresents NCEA figures once again

English misrepresents NCEA figures once again

Bill English is misrepresenting figures on NCEA internal assessment, in criticism that reflects the views of the small number of 'usual complainants' about NCEA


Bill English is misrepresenting figures on NCEA internal assessment, in criticism that reflects the views of the small number of 'usual complainants' about NCEA, says Education Minister Steve Maharey.

"Mr English is wrongly portraying results from the moderation of 'borderline' NCEA internal assessments as representative of problems for all internal assessment," Steve Maharey said.

Bill English claimed on National Radio today that around 40 percent of the internal assessments checked by NZQA were wrong. Mr Maharey said NZQA checked 'borderline' work, which was around 3 percent of all internal assessment, of which less than 29 percent required adjustment.

"Moderation involves looking at samples of work that teachers found the most challenging to assess and giving professional feedback on that work. It's not surprising that last year moderators had a different view on 29 percent of the 'borderline' work teachers submitted. This is only part of a process which includes direct contact with schools, professional accreditation, and professional development for teachers."

Steve Maharey said the assessment system relied on the professional integrity of teachers, in the same way people relied on the professionalism of doctors, engineers and lawyers.

"Mr English's criticism is an attack on the professionalism of teachers, and reflects the views of a very small number of teachers and principals who are the 'usual complainants' about NCEA. We take it very seriously that people may be prepared to act in an unprofessional manner.

"Schools and teachers are formally accredited to assess for NCEA and are expected to uphold professional standards. I anticipate that professional bodies such as PPTA and the Teachers Council would take a very dim view of people who would undermine the profession."

Steve Maharey said NZQA would be seeking assurances from schools identified in a Herald on Sunday article that professional standards were being upheld.

However, he said he was confident that the vast majority of teachers maintained high professional standards and the moderation system was working well and continuing to improve. " The overwhelming view of the education sector is that the system has improved vastly over the last 12 months and is working well."


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