Headteachers said a decision to raise grade boundaries in GCSE English between exams taken in January and June resulted in many teenagers in effect being marked down an entire grade, leaving public confidence in the exam system in jeopardy.
More than 100 individual schools contacted the Guardian with details of the problems they were experiencing, describing the effect as "demoralising", "soul-destroying" and "gutting" for students and staff.Because 'public confidence in the exam system' can only be raised by legions of well-qualified morons, I suppose?
As Quiet Man puts it:
"Thing is, we want these exams to be tough, we want only the brightest and best to progress, we want our kids to be able to read, write and do maths and the system in place was failing them. They were the ones facing employers or universities and having to do catch up courses for stuff they really should have known at age eleven (or even earlier) Yes, the exams might have been marked more harshly, but in this year any kid with good grades knows that they'll have earned it a bit more than the previous year."Hear hear!
Oh now this affects me very deeply on a personal level.
The social-worker-aunt flounced into my parents house on the one night of the week my siblings, I and our offspring gather there for tea. Thereby ensuring a captive and complete section of family audience outside of Facebook.
No hello, howya doing, nothing...just huffily announcing plans to appeal. Apparently one of her daughters gained an A in Science and Philosophy but a C in English Language and they just cannot comprehend how that was even possible.
The school must be at fault. It's just terrible. The daughter is "suicidal" to a point that only £200 on new hair extensions will fix.
Father pretended to be interested...he has to he's her brother... while Dear Ole Mam and the rest of us exchanged smirks.
Teachers have been teaching and marking to a predetermined level for years, a low level. The only way to improve pass rates year on year. This is to the detriment of all, the bright kids are indistinguishable from the rest and the less well intellectually endowed are sold a lie, the lie that promises them a future full of milk, honey and unrealistic earnings. labour's ridiculous target of 5o% of kids going to university could only ever be achieved by realising 3 conditions, get enough kids to gain the nesserary amount and grades of A levels , create universities that would accept them and design micky mouse degree courses that they could pass.
....although, to be fair to the social-worker-aunt...
When her ilk insisted on the near-abolition of "Special Schools" I suppose it was only reasonable to expect a "normal" child be elevated to the status of "Genius".
I can understand how she must feel so utterly betrayed by a system she has worked so hard to implement for decades now. The injustice !!!
Schadenfreude yer honour ? Who me ? Guilty as charged. :)
The point they all seem to be conveniently glossing over is the fact that grade boundaries move several marks up or down every exam session in order to normalise the difficulty of the papers. After moderation, some papers are deemed to difficult and so have grade boundaries lowered; conversely some papers are considered after moderation to be too easy and so have their grade boundaries revised up.
So unless they are comparing the exact same paper (which obviously they won't be) at January and June sessions, then of course, grade boundaries will have moved.
There was a particularly disingenuous comment made on the TV news yesterday by a headteacher who said that a student scoring 43% would have scored a C grade in January but in June it only scored them a D grade. I'll bet you a fair sum that the grade boundary moved by maybe 2%, well within norns, and she picked a number right on the borderline to make her example, which will be misunderstood by most of the population who don't understand about such things as moderation, normalisation and grae boundaries.
It happened to me when I sat my GCEs in 1954.The pass mark went up from 40% to 45% and so I did not get all the subjects I was expected to. The world did not end and I went on to get what further qualifications I needed at night school during my apprenticeship.Teachers have been reading too much Lewis Carroll, "everyone must have prizes".
I look forward to the day when a pass in English means that the "learner" so certified is grammatically competent, has a reasonable vocabulary, can spell and punctuate. I suspect that's still a way off.
"..while Dear Ole Mam and the rest of us exchanged smirks."
Heh! Yes, I've had family chats like those.. ;)
"..labour's ridiculous target of 5o% of kids going to university could only ever be achieved by realising 3 conditions.."
And the repercussions of that disaster will be felt for a long time to come...
"...which will be misunderstood by most of the population who don't understand about such things as moderation, normalisation and grae boundaries."
And - if she was picked to do a media interview - I suspect that wasn't just a slip either! She knew exactly what she was doing.
"I look forward to the day when a pass in English means that the "learner" so certified is grammatically competent, has a reasonable vocabulary, can spell and punctuate. I suspect that's still a way off."
I suspect you're right.
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