INDEPENDENT NEWS

Dumbing Down UE – “Return To Go” Call

Published: Tue 20 Mar 2001 10:02 AM
“NZQA has failed to properly consult about the standards for University Entrance under the NCEA,” said Concerned Teachers spokesperson Peter Calvert. “Of all the high stakes aspects of senior school qualifications for students, none could be more important than the determination of Entrance to University. A pass or fail in UE really does determine life chances.”
Mr Calvert was releasing “Dumbing Down UE” which heavily criticised NZQA for the content and process used in consulting with the community between November 2000 and February 2001 – a time when submissions are minimal as many institutions are effectively closed over that period.
“Given National’s recent about face on the NCEA, and Professor Raewyn Dalziel’s critical comments made as the representative of the University Vice Chancellor’s Committee (VCC) just two days after submissions closed, CT wants the process started again,” said Mr Calvert.
“Our submission points out that New Zealand’s four leading assessment experts - Professor Warwick Elley, (Canterbury University) Professor Cedric Hall (Victoria University), Terry Locke (Waikato University) and Michael Irwin (Researcher Education Forum) - say there is a high chance students will get the wrong grade for their ability with the NCEA. If this occurs for UE, then it will result in huge unfairness,” said Mr Calvert.
“The section in the document about ‘Closing the Gaps’ for Maori and Pacific Islanders wrongly promotes consideration of a double standard of entry to University and in the courses leading to this,” said Mr Calvert.
“Nor is there any explanation of what happens to fairness if a repeat of the 2000 Bursary Mathematics with Calculus problem re-emerges under the NCEA, where there is to be no scaling. Our document includes material released under the Official Information Act relating to the way NZQA had to repair the damage from that exam,” said Mr Calvert.
Ends:
For More information contact: Peter Calvert 021 2111 825 E-mail ConcernedTeachers@xtra.co.nz Website www.concernedteachers.com

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