Assessment in Change: Some Reflections on the Local and International Background to the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)


  • Jim Strachan



Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability


This paper backgrounds a number of factors that have influenced proposed changes in New Zealand’s senior secondary assessment system. It documents various moves which have been made over the last 30 years, refers to international practices, reviews and developments, and notes the ongoing reluctance to shift from traditional systems in this country. Research about assessment, changing educational needs, and growing recognition of the pervasive influence of high stakes assessment and the opportunities offered by assessment aligned to learning, are seen as further influencing factors. The article emphasises the need for change, contrasts New Zealand and overseas practice, and observes that while the current NCEA design is an improvement over the old, compromises have led to a model with some deficiencies.


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Author Biography

Jim Strachan