Perhaps you could help the secondary principals, the poor dears are all in a tiz trying to work out why there was a fall in the number of students passing UE, a fall from 71 per cent in 2013 to 58 per cent in 2014.
Principals, however, are beating around the bush so tentatively, that the pheasants of truth can be considered as being left entirely undisturbed.
Sandy Pasley, the new SPANZ president, said ‘it simply came down to student preparedness’.
Came down to that?
Suddenly, out-of-the-blue, a 13 per cent drop?
Up to now, I had always thought, secondary teachers played some part in that preparation process, small as it apparently must be, but there to be found if you know where to look. But apparently not.
Silly me, how out of touch I’ve become. It must be the digital revolution – students these days must trot along to school, be informed of NCEA requirements, told to work them out, and then to get on with it. (And if perhaps, you want your subject teacher, try one of the local primary, where he or she is serving the community of schools.)
Oh, you want the principal, well he or she is deep in conference with other principals (meat pasties, salmon sandwiches).
Sandy goes on to say ‘it appeared students had been sprung by the new policy of needing 14 credits in three approved subjects.’
As if by a tiger?
And the teachers too?
Or was the ‘new policy of needing 14 credits …’ too much to take in?
It’s a mystery!
Or was it the ‘three approved subjects’ that was too much?
Perhaps, teachers in the three years available didn’t get round to asking what they were.
The PPTA manifesto has helping the poor as its prime motivation, so perhaps they were simply too busy collecting for the Salvation Army
What could those new approved subjects have been: Fabric, te reo, retailing, numeracy, literacy?
Who knows? It’s a mystery!
I hasten to the executive director of Universities of New Zealand.
Aha! According to Chris Whelan the new policy of needing 14 credits in the three approved subjects had long been signalled.
It appears the new policy was far from sprung.
More tortoise-crawled, than tiger-sprung (as so colourfully conveyed by Sandy Pasley).
Chris recommends something called a ‘wiggle room’ – well OK, but it seems Jeff has already had a significant influence.
He continues: ‘To get into university today, students need both NCEA level 3 and University Entrance. Students need to be studying sufficient literacy and numeracy credits.’
‘Aha – that has solved that one.’
But it doesn’t explain why the sudden drop – schools after all are boasting almost perfect pass rates in NCEA; NCEA apparently is a piece of cake, so why the drop?
Sandy is off again. (I hope you don’t mind me calling you Sandy, Sandy, I already feel I have got close to you.)
‘… students needed to take more responsibility in knowing what is required of them.’
‘.. it was likely that some students didn’t take notice until it was too late.’ (Very Jeff-like.)
But Sandy, Sandy, Sandy – there is something missing from our relationship.
You are just not taking me there.
I resort to Grease in my despair:
Stranded at the drive in
Branded a fool
What will they say
Monday at school?
Sandy can’t you see
I’m in misery
I sit and wonder why, oh?
You left me oh Sandy
Oh Sandy, baby someday
When high school is done
Our two worlds will be one
Sandy, Sandy, why oh Sandy?
With Sandy not satisfying, I have to go elsewhere for answers, perhaps back to Chris.
‘Although there was no direct evidence as to why so many students failed to gain UE last year, the three-subject requirement was likely at fault.’
My goodness, he’s on to it, thank God for the cognitive genius of academia … but …
Yeah … but … um … they were still just NCEA weren’t they?
It wasn’t Ijoid, Iibikio, or Gur was it? just plain old, everyday NCEA?
Here we have the best brains in the business, and it’s still a mystery. Here we have Sandy, head of that august body SPANZ, putting it down to the students being sprung on; and Chris, executive director of Universities New Zealand only able to say it was ‘likely’ the new three-subject requirement and recommending a ‘wiggle room’.
Enough! the garlic to the disordered senses of these eminent people is sitting exams against the fraud on the children’s intellect of internal credits.
With those three approved subject there was demanded a slight increase in the number of children having to sit exams to get UE.
This combined with children failed by primary schools for not being taught to think, with children diverted to easier options to keep the risk of failure down, and with the significant failure rate of certain groups in particular when they get to university – is an education scandal. And the only genuine commentary available on the frailties of the New Zealand education system.