NCEA: English backs markers

Published: Tue 13 Dec 2005 08:33 AM
NCEA: English backs markers
National’s Education spokesman, Bill English, says NCEA exam markers believe they are being asked to mark to predetermined pass rates even if the NZQA does not.
He is commenting after Karen Sewell, the Acting Chief Executive of the NZQA, denied there is any secretive or unofficial marking of NCEA papers taking place.
Mr English says Ms Sewell is clutching desperately to the official line while the markers doing the work are telling a different story.
“I’m backing the markers. If they say standards are being dropped to pass more students, I believe that’s the case.
“When they say they have remarked papers unofficially after being instructed to reach pass-rate targets, I believe them.
“When they say they have been told to make sure they don’t fail more than 40-50%, I believe them.
“When experienced, professional markers say the work they are doing is not standards-based assessment, I believe them.
“The NZQA has a track record of stubbornly defending the indefensible. Neither the Minister nor the NZQA should expect the public to accept their word over that of the professional markers who have blown the whistle,” says Mr English.

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