Thursday, May 14, 2015

Leavers' Statistics - Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu's gain, our loss

Our school, a state secondary school, recently received the leavers' data for 2014. I had decided that I would go through the individual data this year and cross-check all individual leaver's data held by the MOE with our own data. I was wanting confirmation that there was accurate alignment, pleasingly this appeared to be the case. That was until I decided to check out one individual student. This student, whom I shall call Charlotte (not real name), had successfully completed 5 years at our school and had completed NCEA Level 3. Unfortunately, she had missed out on University Entrance by 4 credits and was missing one of the three lots of 14 credits necessary to gain UE. She was one of many students around the country who had not quite met the new requirements for university entrance in 2014.

To the rescue came Te Aho o Te Kura Punamu (Te Kura - formally the Correspondence School). Te Kura offered students around New Zealand the chance to catch up on missed credits and get cross over the often small barrier preventing them from getting into university. For Charlotte this meant completing one standard through Te Kura. She successfully did this, gained UE and enrolled to study at the university she'd always hoped and dreamed. I was curious to see how Charlotte was recorded on our leavers' statistics. Was she recorded as having gained NCEA Level 3 or did the one standard she did through Te Kura mean she got recorded as having gained UE? To my surprise, Charlotte was no where to be seen on our stats, anywhere. She had simply disappeared from being one of our leavers.

We immediately emailed the ministry and they revealed to us that becuase Charlotte had enrolled and completed her final school qualification through Te Kura, she was counted as one of their leavers! This is despite the fact she'd spent five years with us and completed only ONE achievement standard through Te Kura.

Interestingly, there is a 70 day period of enrolment before a student counts as a student of your school statistics. We found out that Charlotte had been enrolled at Te Kura for precisely 82 days, and therefore counted as one of theirs. Of course, this makes Te Kura statistics look better and ours correspondingly look worse. One of my questions though, is why would Te Kura need a student enrolled 82 days, nearly 3 months, for the completion of one standard. Charlotte will have been halfway through her first semester at university before officially coming off the Te Kura roll.

I have written awaiting responses from the ministry but I suspect there will be hundreds, if not thousands of Charlotte's around the country who have been dropped from school leavers' statistics and been included onto Te Kura's. If you work in a secondary school I'd be requesting the student data from the ministry and checking if you've been affected too. I look forward to the Ministry response and will update things when I find out.

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