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Friday, June 03, 2005

A bit of mongrel 

A couple of things I've been wanting to mention. First, the ad for this guy's talkback show on radio live.


He delivers a smartarse monologue about NCEA, suggesting that it prevents children from being told they're failures. Not like in the good old days! Listen up, chump, for each NCEA assessment there is the standard known as "not achieved". Now while this may lack the sheer emotional shock value of an "F" (or being made to stand in the corner wearing the dunce's cap) it is also very clear: you, Student X, have failed to achieve the necessary standard. That sends as clear as message as is required, I would have thought. And it sure beats a system which compels 50% of students to fail each and every year (do you remember the glory days of School C, UE and Bursary, Paul?)

Second point: time for Labour to respond to National's provocative billboard campaign. Like this perhaps (Hat tip: NRT).

Or (and I'd do this myself if I had access to the proper software)




I wonder how many Labour MPs now agree with that the budget was a lost opportunity?

Six months ago I suggested Labour could do two things to help ensure a successful re-election: 1) Cut taxes 2) Attack Brash. Unfortunately they're doing neither, and without wanting to sound like a smartarse, I think it's showing in the polls.

Get stuck in ya mongrels!

Took the words right out of my mouth rwegarding that dork and that ad.

He obviously knows nothing at all about what he is talking about.

Perhaps he might like to come to my school where students FAIL to achieve any credit points for assessment all the time. In fact I suspected that more students probably fail to get marks out of individual assessments now than in the past and had this confirmed by a teacher currently in the process of grading them.

What NCEA does do is give students multiple chances to achieve something rather than the old, nup sorry, you fucked up your one and only chance at getting anything from the entire year in this mesely 3 hour period and you are now officially called a loser, with no brain, and no school qualifications for the rest of your life.

Yeah, that's what we want to go back to!!!!

And bloody Devlin isn't much better with his stupid pandering to the elderly shit about the flag. Tell us again dc_red, what flag did we fight for? and why were we fighting for a flag? I thought we were fighting for peoples lives.
I blogged a while back about the Australian flag, which was certainly *not* fought under in WWI.

With regards to the NZ Flag, the Holden Republic reports that it was designed in 1869, but not adopted as New Zealand's official flag until The New Zealand Ensign Act 1901.

The Silver Fern emblem has historical connections that are at least as solid. From the Holden Republic again:

"The Silver Fern has been a feature of our iconography for well over a century. The All Blacks made it their official emblem in 1893. It first appeared on an official New Zealand flag in 1908. The Silver Fern was the predominant badge of our army in World War I, and the official insignia of the 2nd New Zealand Division in World War II. Changing from the Union Jack-based flag does not depreciate the sacrifice of men and women soldiers who fought in two world wars. Their efforts are recognised through permanent memorials in every New Zealand town, and through the commemoration of Anzac Day each year."

If war is necessary, it should be for principles (like liberty, fraternity and democracy) and not for a particular design on a particular piece of cloth (or to defend foreign monarchs!)
I won't comment about the substance of NECA as I don't know that much about it.

I think one problem I have with the NECA is the use of words like "not achieved" (ok, it is easy to understand), but why not use a simple F. I am at university in Australia where we have grades High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, and then Pass (don't remember what is below that, but something silly like an X if you fail). I wish for the simple A+ through F range, it is much simpler for everyone to understand. Although, fortunately, they also list your mark out of 100 on the academic transcript so it is not too bad.

I am not actually opposed to the NECA, but just think they maybe need to iron out some of the problems with the system. I agree about the old system had its problems - I remember that 30% of the mark from school cert economics was from internal assessment and I was sitting on 90% (ie 27 out of 30) going into the final exam, the bastards then scaled this down my 90% to 60%. I want to know what fuckwit made the internal assessment so easy that it had to scale down so much. My concern, only based on what I have read in the news media about the problems that have arisen, is that NECA hasn't necessarily fixed this and have possibly excerbated this by so many invididual assessments.

That is why I still think that a final exam should make up at least 50% of the final mark because everyone gets to sit the same final exam. This still allows for some certainity without too much pressure on the student that they will get no qualifications (he says while proscratinating about a 90% final exam he has next Friday).

Why not introduce a mid-semester exam where the mark is worth 25%, but is also redeemable if you fuck up - ie leaving you the with a final examination worth 75% (if you fuck up) or 50% (if you did well in the mid-semester exam). This is the system we have with most subjects where I study and I must say it allows people to pick and choose.


P.S The moral of the story is don't listen to talkback radio, it is the bane of civilsed society.
scaling was, and always will be absolute BULLSHIT. granted, it got me about 2 more Cs for school cert and another 2 for UB, but why?. I was a useless student, fuck i didn't deserve a C in 7th form bio.

i can't even begin to comprehend how shit it is/was to have your marks downgraded to fit the "average".

some people are born fuckwits, end of story.
Dinkas what's NECA?

Just kidding.

I understand your point of wanting a simple marking schedule but once people get udes to what we now have it won't make any difference.

Just think of excellence as A
merit as B
achieved as C
and not achieved as don't know what you are doing, please try again later.

Seriously though, I have seen several students in the last week while other teachers have been marking who have done really well in parts but have missed one or two key bits and failed because of that. In the past they probably would have been given 55% or something or passed at least. With the marking syatem now they can choose key bits of knowledge that if the student doesn't display it they fail.

NCEA is not perfect but it's an improvement and a step in the right direction.

It's greatest problem is the increase in workload on teachers and teething problems in terms of them trying to understand how it works. I've seen some pretty mediocre teachers getting it explained continuously by other teachers because they keep fucking it up. It's not too complicated but it's like teaching an 80 year old how to use the internet in a some cases.

You are probably in a better position to comment than me on the substance of the NCEA (ok this time I have got it right).

I just still think it was stupid to change the names of the different marks (from A to excellence etc), but yes people will soon get used to it.

I guess the proof in the pudding will be to look at NCEA after 5 years and see the results then.

Now, don't get me started on mediocre teachers.


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