Thursday, December 08, 2011

Daily Telegraph revelations about school examinations come as no surprise

This morning's Daily Telegraph carried revelations that examination boards charge teachers large fees to attend events that tell them how they can help their pupils cut down on the amount of work needed to those boards' examinations.

And tomorrow's edition has another story on the theme:
Steph Warren, a senior official at Edexcel, told an undercover reporter posing as a teacher who was considering using the firm’s tests that “you don’t have to teach a lot” and that there is a “lot less” for pupils to learn than with rival courses. 
Miss Warren, who sets geography exams for tens of thousands of teenagers, said she did not know “how we [Edexcel] got it through” the official regulation system that is supposed to ensure high standards in GCSEs and A-Levels.
None of this should come as much of a surprise. Examination league tables are now pretty much the only way that schools are judged (by officialdom, though perhaps not by parents). And the setting and marking of those exams have become a multi-million pound business.

Put those two factors together and it was pretty much inevitable that this would happen.

I always treated exams as a sort of hoop you had to jump through in return for being given the time to study the things that really interested you. I don't suppose such an attitude would prosper today.

No comments: