I heard an interview the other day about NCEA, how schools were increasingly losing faith in this qualifications system and increasingly paying to bring in the Cambridge examination system based on external standards, i.e. able to measure objectively one student’s performance against others of the same age in the wider population (… basically the system we used to have that was thrown out at great expense). Although I’m not an expert in this area, my understanding is that the changes resulted in large measure from beliefs that competition was simply another male evil that should largely be removed from education and replaced by a warmer, fuzzier, “standards” system complying better with feminist ideas. Science, statistics and objective grading of performance were seen as male ideology and therefore undesirable, by an education system that had already squeezed out most men. NCEA stands as another failure resulting from feminist ideology.
Also no expert, but from my experiences when looking to employ, School Certificate, University Entrance and University Bursary examinations provided a quantitative measure of performance against a group of peers.
More importantly, it showed performance “under pressure of a deadline”.
Funnily enough, every work day involves similar deadlines and pressure so, where examinations succeeded, NCEA fails when evaluating a person’s ability to perform at work in a deadline/pressure situation. NCEA is just another spineless answer to a problem that never existed in the first place.
The Steiner school system have for a long time believed they were [in a very elitist sense] above “examinations” and blithely teach their students with zero cognisance of normal external examinations.
Funniest thing of all is that, when a Steiner student wishes to enter University, they are, like every other applicant, required to produce proof of “Matriculation”. This [matriculation] is the right to enter University that is earned by achieving a proscribed standard set down by the University (eg. scoring at least 40% in 5 subjects at University Bursary level) or sitting the Univeristy’s own Matriculation examination.
Ditto for gaining a driver’s licence – you are required to sit a series of examinations: oral, written and practical.
So, what is NCEA good for?
Toilet paper may a good starting point…