Failing students statement is misleading

Published: Wed 14 Nov 2007 11:44 AM
Failing students statement is misleading
The Correspondence School
Letter to the Editor
14th November 2007
The statement by the CEO of the Correspondence School that more than half the full time pupils studying at the school this year have failed to achieve any NCEA standards is misleading. In fact, of students actually enrolled in NCEA programmes nearly 90% gained one standard or more last year.
Mike Hollings also says that expelled or alienated students make up 50% of the school roll. Analysis of the school’s enrolment figures shows that of the 13200 students at the school in August this year, 1930 were full time students, of which 70% are in the “at risk” categories - only 10% of the total roll.
His figures have been used to support draconian changes in the school, changes which will not, in any case, solve the presumed crisis.
It is well known that many of our students have already failed in other New Zealand schools. We help turn them round and enable them to succeed. The remedial departments in the school enjoy considerable success in helping students improve their literacy and numeracy levels. Achieving a full NCEA certificate is not the only criterion for success.
The secondary teachers at The Correspondence School are tired of being blamed for mythical failures, when in reality it is becoming increasingly difficult to work in a situation of chaotic mismanagement and reduced services to students caused by previous restructurings and current inadequacies of organisation in the school.
We live in hope that the new minister for education will stop this downward spiral by calling a halt to the current restructuring and sackings until an independent body can inquire into the lack of policy and direction which afflicts The Correspondence School.
Pam Henson, PPTA Branch Chair, The Correspondence School.

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