October 3, 2008
Give Dunce’s Cap to the Examination Markers
By Joe Riley
WHEN is an answer in a school test wrong? When it is incorrect.
Except in the view of the qualifications and curriculum authority, which has destroyed its own credibility with soft-option marking advice in the key stage 3 science test taken by 600,000 14- year-olds.
Experts are furious at the leniency of guidelines, and are demanding an inquiry.
Yet another example of a system geared to eradicate any concept of failure.
Is it any wonder that top universities are concerned with genuine achievement and not social kidology.
The same goes for the year-on-year hysteria about better GCSE and A-level results.
Clearly the bar needs raising - to help universities and future employers make realistic selections for specialist courses and jobs.
And it gets no better at the other end of the pantomime horse.
The chief inspector of schools admits that poor teachers are damaging education, but they are difficult to sack because of red tape.
And so, in reality, more than a third of 14-year-old children in England (216,000) failed to master the basics in core subjects after three years at secondary school.
And yes, you've guessed it.
We're back to those key stage 3 tests in English, maths and science.
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