Saturday, February 02, 2008

Why is one in five Kiwi kids leaving school with grossly inadequate literacy and numeracy skills?

Answer: Ask John Key's speech writer. "Why is one in five kiwi kids..."

He must be an NCEA kid. Yet some are not. Not enough kids are getting the relevant soft credits in English and/or Maths - and thus failing NCEA level 1. Because they fail - or are likely to fail - they drop out of school, many getting early leaving exemptions.Those with a bit of perserverance ( which should be mentored by teachers in schools IMHO) go onto NCEA level 2. You can get level 2 even if you failed level 1 English and Maths, provided that you pass them at level 2.But one in five students and half our Maori boys don`t even get to attempt level 2 because they have left school by then - some, perhaps, after another unsuccessful attempt at level 1.

Teachers are running a curriculum, not teaching kids who find it difficult to learn. If kids can pass the only basic compulsory subjects - English and Maths - they`ll have no trouble getting NCEA level 1 - and that is a qualification. But they can still have inadequate literacy and numeracy skills for the workplace if they pass level 1 by doing "creative writing", poetry , solving "straightforward numbers" and using geometric texts - none of which have exams as they are all internally assesed.

But the Government will be happy as they have a "qualification". But will Education Minister Chris Carter employ them as speech writers? Probably not, after this e-mail, his office appears to be too loaded with NCEA level 1 people as it is.




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