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NCEA Nation-wide Teaching Staff Survey 2002

NCEA Nation-wide Teaching Staff Survey 2002
by David Newton Teacher B Hort Sci (Hons), Dip Tch
Survey Results


Number of Schools surveyed 89
Percent of Total Number
(89 / 392 x 100) 23%
Number Yes Number
No %
Yes %
No

1/ Are you confident that the moderation system in internally assessed standards will result in the same award being made for the same standard of work nation-wide?
154 1386 10% 90%

2/ Does the workload of setting and marking NCEA assessment tasks at Levels 1,2 and 3 over the next 2 years make you seriously consider leaving the Teaching profession in New Zealand?
1076 436 71% 29%

3/ Have you been provided with sufficient physical resources and training to guide you in teaching and assessing NCEA at Level 1? 356 1183 23% 77%

4/ Do you think that NCEA will be recognised as a valid and robust system by students, parents, employers and educationalists both here and overseas?
285 1174
20% 80%

5/ In your opinion do the assessments you have marked give a valid indication of a students’ actual ability?
490 1030 32% 68%

6/ Do you think NCEA should continue to be implemented in its current form?
259 1252 17% 83%

More information on http://www.inet.net.nz/~djmjnewton/

NCEA Nationwide Teaching Staff Survey 2002 Methodology

392 approx Secondary Schools in New Zealand.
15000 approx Secondary Teachers in New Zealand.

100 Schools randomly selected and posted out a pre printed set of survey sheets for each teacher and a return prepaid envelope. David Newton personally paid for all materials used. (Response 32 schools.)

Balance of 292 schools emailed with a single copy of the survey sheet, a set of instructions and a tally sheet to count their schools responses, which was then faxed back to Christchurch. (Response 57 schools)

Survey was initially posted and emailed out on 5th June with a closing date of 14th June. Because of the announcement of the general election and workload issues associated with PPTA industrial action, survey closing date was extended till 21st June.

Data sent back by Fax or post was compiled and entered by David Newton. A double entry computer spreadsheet that self checked for accuracy that linked to a summary sheet was designed.

Total numbers of teachers teaching at the schools that were surveyed was entered as well as the numbers of teachers giving a positive or negative response to each of the seven questions in the survey.
The number of schools that replied was also recorded.

NCEA Assessment System is a Scandal

David Newton conducted a NCEA Secondary Teaching Staff Survey. 89 NZ Secondary Schools participated (23% of the total number of schools). Those schools employed 3005 approx Teachers (20% of the total number of Teachers). 1540 Teachers at those schools (51% response) answered the survey.

Question 1: Are you confident that the moderation system in internally assessed standards will result in the same award being made for the same standard of work nation-wide?

YES 154 NO 1386

Interpretation: There is no “standard”! (Remembering that these results are from almost a quarter (23%) of the schools in the country and was answered by half (51%) the teachers at those schools). 90% of teachers who answered the survey are not confident in students getting the same grade at different schools for the same standard of work.

Mr Mallard and NZQA would have you believe that all you need to do is apply “professional judgement” as to what level a student falls with in. The reality is that the achievement standards have many unquantifiable terms such as “enough”, “more than”, and some. Even the quantifiable “all criteria met” was interpreted by a moderator as less than everything when commenting that grades awarded by a teacher for a speech in Japanese were too tough on the students involved! This obviously opens up each and every achievement standard to subjective personal judgement on the part of each of the 15,000 teachers in New Zealand who will be marking students when Level 3 replaces Bursary in 2004. Consistent “professional judgment” can be applied only when the criteria for applying it are communicated to every teacher unambiguously. This lack of consistency in awarding the same grade for the same level of quality work between schools puts in doubt the value of NCEA as a national qualification. Surely the point of having a national qualification is that it is consistent nationally? The consequence of doubting the validity of a particular schools grading of student success will result in employers paying as much attention to which school gave the assessment result as the results themselves. The portability and value of the qualification is undermined. With more schools participating in the recolonisation of the NZ education system from Mother England by using Cambridge Exams or O Level, A Level Exams, NZ runs the risk of having NCEA perceived as the second rate qualification even though the majority of people in NZ have no choice where they send their children. The egalitarian ideal of New Zealand Secondary education, where every school pupil has access to the same quality of education no matter where or to whom they were born, is at risk. Is this what you want?

Question 2: Does the workload of setting and marking NCEA assessment tasks at Levels 1,2 and 3 over the next 2 years make you seriously consider leaving the Teaching profession in New Zealand?

YES 1076 NO 436

Interpretation: (Remembering that these results are from almost a quarter (23%) of the schools in the country and was answered by half (51%) the teachers at those schools). A staggering 71% of teachers who answered the survey indicated that they were seriously considering leaving the teaching profession in New Zealand due to the increased workload involved in trying to make the new system work. Where are schools going to get new teachers to replace them? Couple this to the mini baby bulge coming through the primary system and the extra numbers of teachers required to implement Maori immersion and smaller class size intentions the Min of Ed has, then surely it is obvious to anyone the Secondary Education system is in crisis. Some United Kingdom schools are already working 4-day weeks because adequately trained teachers can not be found. The pupils at those schools are missing out on 20% of their education. This is the reason UK employment consultants are so active in NZ. What incredible damage would this have on our children’s future as participants in the Knowledge Wave Economy if our schools had to run 4-day weeks? The risk is real and could be realised within two years if NCEA workload is not significantly decreased or the assessment system abandoned entirely.

Question 3. Have you been provided with sufficient physical resources and training to guide you in teaching and assessing NCEA at Level 1?

YES 356 NO 1183

Interpretation: (Remembering that these results are from almost a quarter (23%) of the schools in the country and was answered by half (51%) the teachers at those schools). 77% of teachers who answered the survey are struggling with inadequate resources to successfully implement the new assessment system. This is totally unacceptable as teachers were promised that assessment tasks would be available to them for use in their classes by simply down loading them from the net. The assessments provided have proven to be inadequate. They have errors in them, as do the marking schedules provided with them. This indicates the assessments have not been trialed on groups of students. There are also not enough of them. All teachers test their students with an assessment immediately after a topic is taught that they think would be of a similar level to the External assessment at the end of the year. Schools also need assessments for a mid year exam and as a final practice before the final external exams.
For this reason there should be at least three assessment examples that both NZQA and Min of Ed agree are to the correct level, that have been pre-trialed on real students so that the marking schedules give the correct national ratios of success at the three achievement levels. NZQA were repeatedly advised that the examples needed to be kept secure or students could copy them thus rendering them useless for in class use. Because of their incompetence none of the examples published are secure thus forcing all of them to be rewritten. In rewriting some assessments a small change in the assessment to make it do-able has rendered it “invalid” according to the NZQA Moderator. There have even been assessments that were moderated as valid last year failing this year because of a change in some criteria that was not adequately communicated to schools. This constitutes a massive increase in workload. More importantly every teacher is now forced to interpret the standard and come up with questions that are of a similar level to the insecure example on the web so the integrity of a National Standard can be maintained. They are meant to do this in spite of the fact that the original training did not fully address writing assessments for all of the achievement standards. How could anyone expect 400 schools around the country to all interpret the “national standard” in the same way? It is farcical and illogical! In fact teachers were told repeatedly that we would not have to write them because panels of experts would write sufficient numbers of examples for us. Added to this is the fact that moderation of assessments (when done at all) can only be done after the event. A moderator will not comment on an assessment item before it has been used.

Question 4: Do you think that NCEA will be recognised as a valid and robust system by students, parents, employers and educationalists both here and overseas?

YES 285 NO 1174

Interpretation: (Remembering that these results are from almost a quarter (23%) of the schools in the country and was answered by half (51%) the teachers at those schools). 80% of teachers who answered the survey say NO. If the providers of this system of assessment are so disenchanted with it how can anyone else have confidence in it. The country currently earns about $20,000 pa from each overseas student enrolled as fee payers at schools and tertiary institutions around the country, amounting to 1.2 billion dollars annually (North and South). If the authenticity and value of our education system is plunged into question they will stop coming and many of our schools will become technically insolvent with a corresponding drop in the educational quality provided by those institutions to our New Zealand children. Employers and institutions overseas may begin to doubt the authenticity of every qualification produced in this country. A NZ qualification that is perceived as inferior would be one way to solve the brain drain but it would be very counterproductive! Far from encouraging students into more academic study so more New Zealanders can participate in the Knowledge Wave Economy and earn more money for themselves and therefore pay more taxes, the reverse may happen with fewer participating.

Question 5: In your opinion do the assessments you have marked give a valid indication of students’ actual ability?

YES 490 NO 1030

Interpretation: (Remembering that these results are from almost a quarter (23%) of the schools in the country and was answered by half (51%) the teachers at those schools). 68% of teachers who answered the survey say there is something wrong with the assessments themselves in that they don’t actually give a true indication of how well a student can perform. This undermines the entire point of providing any form of assessment let alone one that is going to be applied across all levels of high school within the next two years. How can parents, employers or even the students themselves have confidence in a system that this percentage of teachers think is invalid! Is it any wonder some schools are considering implementing overseas qualification assessment systems?

Question 6: Do you think NCEA should continue to be implemented in its current form?

Yes 259 NO 1252

Interpretation: (Remembering that these results are from almost a quarter (23%) of the schools in the country and was answered by half (51%) the teachers at those schools). 83% of teachers who answered the survey say NO. If you were about to buy a second hand car and 83% of the mechanics who were employed by the car sales yard came out and told you not to buy it; who would you believe the sales man or the mechanic? The Minister of Education or Teachers?

The Minister of Education Trevor Mallard and the entire Labour party were repeatedly warned about the risks inherent in implementing this untrialed system that had already failed overseas. They chose to ignore that advice and arrogantly refused to even ask the types of questions raised in this survey of the teachers who were about to (last year) and now are, implementing their grand experiment. They still have not done any form of quantitative survey to gauge the success or otherwise of using 57,000 New Zealand school children as guinea pigs despite the millions of dollars it has cost and the enormous educational cost of continuing to get it wrong. Unsurprisingly they use the same vague unquantifiable terms that stud their “standards” “most”, “some” and “enough” in all their propaganda spoken on the issue. Tragically, the educational assessment of 57,000 Yr11(Form 5) pupils at every school in the country has been compromised. There must be a halt to this lunacy and the zealots at Ministry of Education and NZQA must not be allowed to impose this system of assessment in 2003. This year’s students must not be used as guinea pigs again for Level 2 at Yr 12. The fresh batch of 57000 Yr 11 pupils next year should not be subjected to this debacle.

The Labour Party does not seem to have the vision to see the likely consequences of continuance of these policies on the New Zealand economy. If you want New Zealand to continue to have an egalitarian, public education system that has high international respect so our school aged generation can participate in the Knowledge Wave economy and pay enough taxes to keep our burgeoning over 65 population from starving on a pension only one action seems possible. The voting public must act to ensure that the Labour Party is not in a position to continue with it. The consequences to everyone are dire, the consequences to the 57,000 pupils this year are simply tragic. The political party and the Minister who arrogantly ignored all the warnings must be held to account and removed from office!

David Newton 28 6 2002


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