Here’s how to help your students pass their exams – you dish out the answers first

Giving the answers to students before an internal assessment is cheating – isn’t it?

A school principal in Tauranga would prefer to think not.

He is inclined to believe the answers were dished out to the students for good reasons, to help them.

Naive, maybe, but the teacher had the best of intentions…

Nah. Alf doesn’t buy it. Cheating is cheating.

The matter was aired in a Radio NZ report this morning.

The college in question had to withdraw the NCEA results of 17 students after the Qualifications Authority found a teacher gave them the answers to internal assessments.

Radio NZ News used the Official Information Act to flush out Qualifications Authority documents dealing with what happened.

NZQA was called in after Otumoetai College spotted problems with the work of students studying Maori at levels two and three of the NCEA late last year.

Principal Dave Randall says NZQA later found the teacher had been giving students the answers for internal assessments.

So was the teacher sacked?

Nope.

We are told, rather, that –

The teacher was the subject of competency action, which he successfully completed.

However, 17 students lost credits for Maori standards the teacher said they had achieved and five missed out on level three of the NCEA.

Well bugger me, Alf muttered as he heard this stuff.

Betcha the principal was pissed off with this sullying of his college’s copy book.

This – surely – was cheating.

But no.

You could call it cheating, Randall acknowledged when interviewed for the Radio NZ item.

But he would prefer to think the teacher had tried to do what he thought was best to help his students…

Yeah, right.

And in the upshot, 17 students lost their credits.

If that’s help, you can stick it.

But our naive teacher might have read too much into this bit of the college prospectus –

While students are under our care they will be given as much help as possible by teachers, deans, guidance counsellors, whanau support and
school managers to become responsible, active
citizens with a positive attitude.

Oh, and it will be interesting to see how the college handles the Radio NZ story.

They are strong in reporting the good news on their web-site.

Mis-reporting some of it, actually.

The most recent item is headlined Maori Achievement Celebration

It says –

On Tuesday, 2 November, 2012, the school celebrated the successes and achievements of the Maori students at the school for 2012.

This raises a few questions:

Should they be celebrating any successes and achievements, when they obviously don’t know what year it is?

Do they have a separate celebration for the successes and achievements of non-Maori?

And did any of the 17 students who lost their credits join in the celebrations?

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