For three consecutive years NZCER is exploring the manner in which student subject choice at Year 11 changes in response to the implementation of the NCEA reforms. (The NCEA is a new senior secondary school qualifications regime, the National Certificates of Educational Achievement, first introduced in 2000.)
Below is an excerpt from a short report summarising the initial findings of this longitudinal project:
"In all six schools [studied] the NCEA reforms are seen to be providing a qualifications structure within which students from the lower end of the ability spectrum can be encouraged to value their learning and to raise their achievement levels.
The NCEA changes to the assessment of student learning are also seen to have the potential to raise achievement levels for the most able students, challenging them to meet "excellence" levels that, in some respects, demand more of them than traditional examination based assessments."