After years of resisting common sense changes to NCEA, including as recently as last year, Labour and Steve Maharey have bowed to the inevitable and made some changes.
They really had no choice. If they did not make the changes, then the entire NCEA was at risk, due to schools abandoning it.
The Herald reviews the changes:
* the number of internally assessed papers checked by NZQA would be boosted threefold to 10%
* schools would be monitored to ensure their internal assessment marks did not markedly differ from their external assessments with reports for each school on the Internet
* certificates will now show merit and excellence, instead of merely “achieved”
* Fail or “not achieved” marks will now be shown
The changes are a welcome step in the right direction. There really is no excuse they have taken so long. Some of these issues have been out there for over six years.
A backdown it may be, but it is one forced on him by history and five years of constant criticism about aspects of the qualification.
Mr Maharey yesterday finally showed he had stopped dodging the bullets. Asked if it was an acknowledgment the system wasn’t working, he said: “I think it is, yes. We’ve got to be upfront about this.”
Having hard work recorded on paper as an “excellence” seems a fairer deal than simply lumping that person in with others who may have barely scraped through.
A more valid criticism to level at the Government is why it has taken so long.
Successive reviews have all said the same thing since 2001, when Government Statistician David Rhoades first said the system of moderation gave “no guarantee of fairness to each individual student”.
Trevett notes at the end that the guinea pig students are the unlucky ones in all this. Indeed.No tag for this post.