The July Metro magazine published an article and a series of tables about NCEA results. Metro magazine strongly advised parents to contact the school because the Alternative Education students on our roll, to quote Metro, "artificially lowers our results" with regard to the University Entrance table. I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with a further explanation of these results and how they relate to Mount Albert Grammar School because, on the surface, it would appear that our academic performance is below average. My explanation will reveal that, in fact, this is not true.
"NCEA Year 11 High Achievers - The average proportion of
students in Year 11 who gained a merit or excellence
endorsement in Level 1".
Their table was ranked using an average score based on the school's performance between 2007-2010. Our score of .84 showed that, for the years 2007-2010, on average, we had fewer students gaining an endorsed certificate than the average for decile 7/8 schools.
While I agree with this figure which we, in fact, supplied to Metro, it does not reflect our progress, nor does it take into account the fact that in 2007 and 2008 we were a decile 5 school.
The average of Mount Albert Grammar School students that achieved merit plus between 2007-2010 is 30.83%. This is below the decile 7 average of 33.53%. However, in the last two years we have been above the average: 2009 (33.60%) and 2010 (42%).
University Entrance Table
This table, as published by Metro, provides a rank list based on University Entrance of all those students on the Year 13 roll, including those not entered in University Entrances courses. They do point out that Mount Albert Grammar School has an "artificially low score" because of the Alternative Education students on our roll. Metro strongly advises that readers contact the school.
They gave us a score of 43%. However, our University Entrance average, not including the Alternative Education students, for the period 2007-2010 is 66.8%. The decile 7 average over the same time period is 65.65%.
Scholarship Results Table
We are ranked 10th in Auckland, the highest-ranking decile 7 state school.
Overall, the article has much to commend it, but like any statistical analysis, it needs further explanation - a point that they make themselves.
You will note that the analysis is roll based, i.e., the number of students on the school roll, rather than participation based (those entered in NCEA). This approach has its weaknesses, as it includes students not even entered for NCEA. Also, you will note that a very small number of schools are not included in the analysis even though, in two cases, 79% and 86% of their students are entered in NCEA and a small minority are involved in another qualification system. It is up to local communities to find out how the majority of their schools fared because Metro chose not to publish these details.
Mount Albert Grammar School is an excellent academic school. Our pass rates have continued to rise since 2006. At Level 1, they have increased 31%, at Level 2, 18% and Level 3, 15%. These pass rates are well above decile 7 and National averages.
In 2009, our Level 1 results were the best of any decile 7 state school in Auckland and the third best decile 7 state school overall.
At the end of last year, the school received an outstanding report from the Education Review Office. They described the school as "a high-performing academic school" which "achieved results that were better than National averages and better than averages for other decile 7 schools". They also noted that "students at Level 3 NCEA achieve high and increasing numbers of Scholarships".
D M Burden