INDEPENDENT NEWS

Discrimination Against Practical Subjects in NCEA

Published: Thu 29 Mar 2001 06:23 PM
“Trevor Mallard’s new reporting system discriminates against school students doing practical subjects like Computer Technology, Transition, Tourism, which include unit standards,” said Concerned Teachers spokesperson Peter Calvert. “Their maximum score will be 48 not 96.”
Mr Calvert was commenting on the latest twist in the NCEA ‘let’s make it up as we go along’ saga, announced at the Principals’ Conference today. “Each instant decision Mallard makes creates a whole bunch of new headaches. The Ministry acknowledged such in advice in 2000 (attached).”
“Mr Mallard appears to be now introducing the following: For each Achievement Standard, students earn a score of 0 to 4:
- ‘’ means the standard was not attempted;
- ‘1’ means the standard was attempted but not passed;
- ‘2’ a credit grade;
- ‘3’ a merit, and
- ‘4’ an excellence.
Then multiply this grade score by the credit value for each standard, and add the results. A subject score of between 0 and 96 results, ie the maximum would be 24 credits per subject times 4 (Excellences),” said Mr Calvert.
“It is playing magic with mathematics to call this a percentage. But what happens to students doing Unit Standards in practical subjects, where there is still only a mastered (2) and not mastered (0 or 1) division? There is a huge problem of fairness here. These students will be discriminated against since either they get no subject score or (it seems) they cannot earn a score above 48 in their subjects! Even if they may give them a higher mark – say a 3 - the system is not comparable,” said Mr Calvert.
“The whole point of the NCEA was to help students doing practical subjects. Teachers ask why we are doing this at all,” 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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