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Lowering the NCEA bar is not the answer

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 10 August 2022 -


Lowering the NCEA bar is not the answer


The Government’s decision to issue blanket credits to all NCEA students sets a dangerous precedent and shows that Labour has no plan to turn around plummeting achievement levels, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“Today’s announcement means that every student sitting NCEA will receive a complimentary credit for every five that have actually been earned. This is alongside reducing the requirement for University Entrance and endorsements.

“This is the third year in a row that NCEA has been watered down, showing this Government has no other solution other than simply lowering the bar. This raises serious questions about student achievement levels and our ability to measure progress.

“Rather than innovative approaches to raising student achievement and attendance, Labour has taken the lazy approach, which is literally the least they could have done.

“There is no denying that schools and students have been impacted by Covid-19 and winter illnesses, but simply lowering the bar and making it easier to pass is not the answer. It’s doing students a disservice and is setting our kids up to fail.

“Every student deserves to receive a quality education that equips them with the skills and knowledge that sets them up to be successful and compete on the world stage.

“To ensure that, the Government should be focused on turning around flailing standards by getting kids back into the classroom and focusing on the basics, rather than issuing free credits to cover up the stark reality of plummeting standards and dismal attendance.

“There has been a shocking decline in achievement levels across the board since Labour took power. Last year just a third of students passed a pilot for the new literacy and numeracy assessments and fewer than half of students attended school regularly in term one this year.

“The changes announced today will do nothing to address the real problems and will make it even harder to monitor student achievement.

“Rather than hiding from the results, the Government must front up and implement policies that will drive improvement and lift the standard. Because right now, Labour’s lack of delivery is failing a generation of children.”



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