Top scientists were last night accused of trying to hush up a damning report on the dumbing down of GCSEs to avoid embarrassing the Government.Scientists being less than impartial, and trying to hush up inconvenient evidence?
The report by the Science Community Representing Education (Score) group said some exam questions required no scientific knowledge.So, you can give a wrong answer, and still achieve a mark?
It also found maths was examined 'in a very limited way' and in some cases 'the allowable answers given in mark schemes did not reflect correct science'.
Who said ‘Education, education, education..’ again? I’ve quite forgotten…
But the Royal Society of Chemistry, which is represented on the group, broke ranks last night to blow the whistle on a cover-up.Good for you!
'It would seem to me the public interest is being subordinated for political reasons, which is unacceptable,' said Dr Richard Pike, the society's chief executive.
Although the report was available online and to those that specifically requested it, the press release containing some stark criticism was unavailable.And so long as that was based in fact – and it clearly was – what’s the harm in saying it?
It included a quote from Sir Alan Wilson, the chairman of Score, who said: 'It is astonishing that there are questions in our GCSEs that have no relation to science and that mathematics, the cornerstone of sound scientific understanding, is so woefully represented.'
Sources at the chemistry society said the Score coalition - based at the Royal Society - was concerned the findings would play into the hands of the Conservatives and education spokesman Michael Gove, and upset key civil servants.Because upsetting the government and key civil servants would cut them off from the gravy train of government grants, of course.
Dr Pike said: 'My concern is that the civil servants in the Department for Children, Schools and Families are becoming increasingly politicised, even when confronted with evidence.A damning indictment of the creep of politics into every sphere and the influence of the largesse it can provide if you are prepared, as Dr Pike clearly isn’t, to forego your principles.
'Within the learned society community, for the most part, they don't want to cause trouble. They are cosying up with the civil service and cosying up with all the people involved in writing exams.'
But then, prostitution thrives in harsh financial times, doesn’t it? So maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised….
The inevitable smear campaign may arrive ahead of his second hooray, Julia.
I can remember (many moons ago), when we had separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics "O" and "A" levels..
I look at some of the example "Science" papers they have now and wonder what on earth they're teaching!
I had my maths A-level class last year right after the intermediate set year 10s. I used to copy down the problems on the board for my 9 year old sister and she generally managed them by herself or with only a little explanation. This makes me question the value of my qualifications :(
Say, don't scientist provide the data that help design things like air traffic controllers' equipment, medical scanners, medicines, intensive care and post-natal gear, and the braking systems on cars and trains?
Got to agree that it's very important that man-made climate change is taught as 'science' and learned as religious faith - who needs a bunch of smelly, polluting machines anyway?
From the Daily Wail article linked:
The Mail revealed earlier this year an eight-year-old schoolboy set a scipressedence GCSE by his teacher father, who was investigating the exams for the Score review, scored more than half marks with no preparation or knowledge of science.
What the fuck is "scipressedence"? I can't be arsed to check the OED but it's not in my computer's dictionary or the fat and fairly recent Collins edition on the shelf. Is this a tabloid made word or a government edyukayshun department word?
Whatever it is the fact that an 8 year old can get half marks with no preparation speak volumes. My O levels (like Sue I had separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics - not just exam papers of course, but also lessons and teachers and lab type classrooms) were a while back but the GCSE papers that leaked onto the web a couple of months back were piss easy. Not because I remembered all that stuff I was taught 20 years ago, but because I didn't actually have to remember any of that stuff I was taught 20 years ago. Never mind 8 year olds getting ≥50%, the over reliance on multiple guess questions means that on average a goldfish could expect around 25%. Presumably it would get extra marks if you could teach it to write "fuck off" with an exclamation mark.
"The inevitable smear campaign may arrive ahead of his second hooray, Julia."
Oh, I wouldn't be surprised. He must feel like he has a big target on his back right now...
"I look at some of the example "Science" papers they have now and wonder what on earth they're teaching!"
Well, b0okwyrm's comment says it all: "I used to copy down the problems on the board for my 9 year old sister and she generally managed them by herself or with only a little explanation..."
"Got to agree that it's very important that man-made climate change is taught as 'science' and learned as religious faith..."
Remember what happens to heretics?
"What the fuck is "scipressedence"? "
Google doesn't have a clue either! I'm going with a 'Daily Fail' typing error...
"...the over reliance on multiple guess questions means that on average a goldfish could expect around 25%."
Indeed. No multi choice when I took it either.
Scipressedence? A newly invented word with dual representation. Sci-precedence and a joke at the expense of a Male reporter.
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