‘Schools can achieve any pass rates they want; it is simply a matter of being sensitive to believability limits and cheek. Principals keep their hands clean but they know it is happening and put pressure of expectations on make sure it does. It all comes to a crashing end with UE or with external exams, though.’ Quote from: https://networkonnet.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/ncea-the-great-learning-robbery-the-culprits-the-government-editors-and-in-this-instance-simon-collins/
In the posting above I did not talk about the diverting of students to so-called ‘vocational’ units. Those units, of course, have a place but the pressure to lift NCEA passes means schools are relying on them to up pass rates: students who are on the borderline are not taken a risk with.
The aim of the school should be to increase the number of students who have a real choice amongst the ‘academic’ units as well as the ‘vocational’ ones.
I have long agitated for increased staffing for secondary schools to enable them to set up, from students’ first years, small group tutor systems to provide learning guidance. In my campaign against clusters that was my suggestion for the better use of the money.
I’m not saying that all those hot-housed students were in the vocational ones, but a good few would have been.
The overall difficulty is that throughout the education system, wrong messages are being sent. NCEA is a mess no matter what way you look at it and needs to be sorted out. The results from schools can mean something or very little. Who knows? A previous posting makes clear teachers are being ‘pressured’ into irregular behaviours, and that these behaviours are having harmful effects throughout the education system extending to primary junior classes. https://networkonnet.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/attack-106-things-are-not-ok/
Students from families with substantial social capital (of a particular sort) are the ones who will be able to pick themselves up and go on to pass UE; students from families without will be far less likely to have that choice.
Even in the face of falling international results, with the distorted NCEA ones, governments are able to keep the public reasonably content and thus resist pressure for more funding. Once again it is the students without that substantial social capital who will be most affected because they are the ones most in need of an education system more able to be attentive to their needs.
National standards need to go, to be replaced by a re-establishment of the National Education Monitoring Unit and the continuation of the Dunedin-based research unit. For the moment I’ll leave my ideas for secondary schools aside but I remind readers that our most eminent testing researcher, Warwick Elley, was always firmly, perhaps even bitterly, against the NCEA structure, perhaps it’s time to go cap in hand and ask him for help.
New entrants in the junior room, and from then on, are being disadvantaged because of a government-allowed scam at the top. NCEA graduates must be able to read, write, do sums, and think at a basic level or it will remain a giant con – an open, but conspiratorially not reported, injustice in our education system. The politicians, principals, and teachers are not doing a kindness to the candidates – they are self-servingly functioning at the expense of children starting right from the beginning of children’s school learning lives.