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Focussing purely on exam results misses the entire point of a good education system, which is the development of cognitive skills with the subjects themselves as mere vehicles for doing so. With so much automation these days, and with that only going to increase, teamwork and collaboration, planning, interrogation of information, and presentational skills are all as important if not more so than processing or outputting the data itself, which is the only thing exams are good for. Even for essay questions, you're still asking students to draw from the information they've retained over the last year(s).

I got by in school by working out the bare minimum I needed to do to get As in each subject (humble-brag, I know), so when it came to the exams, I just rattled off the bullet-points I'd built up. It was pointless. When I went to uni to study something I was actually interested in, I essentially had to waste at least the first year building up the necessary critical and communication skills to THEN begin making progress and learning proper.

At the very least, we should be looking into alternative methods of assessment for different skillsets and different students. It seems like year-on-year, we hear the same stories of broken teenagers stressed out by exams both by the process itself and by it being constantly hammered home that basically if you cock this up, all the rest of the work you've done is for fuck-all, and that's IT, you're DONE for LIFE. Which, as anyone here knows, is utter bullshit. My heart breaks for youngsters at the moment. I cannot believe this government insists on giving the next generations as few options as possible. Then again, our parents can just pay our way into university, right? Right?

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Finally, a megathread we can all get behind.

An amazing non-Photoshopped image:

Presumably without Chris EU Bank.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CavemanLynn said:

Focussing purely on exam results misses the entire point of a good education system...

Plays well with the Mail and Telegraph though and depressingly that's all that seems to matter at the moment.

Edited by johnnyboy
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30 minutes ago, johnnyboy said:

Plays well with the Mail and Telegraph though and depressingly that's all that seems to matter at the moment.

And they’re usually “Exams are too easy” types so will welcome mass failings. 

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If all my GCSEs and A-Levels had been exam only I would have smashed it because the information was there, but as soon as I was out of that academic environment I had no inclination to do any coursework, as a result it was either not turned in, or some hastily cobbled together token effort done under duress. Looking back it was probably an Autism thing. 

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53 minutes ago, johnnyboy said:

Plays well with the Mail and Telegraph though and depressingly that's all that seems to matter at the moment.

The mail front page today calls out Boris Johnson and Gavin "Fireplace for sale" Williamson

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Hannibal Scorch said:

The mail front page today calls out Boris Johnson and Gavin "Fireplace for sale" Williamson

That's this specific catastrofuck rather than the policy of replacing blended assessments with wholesale exams.  They wanked themselves dry over exams getting too easy and grade inflation - was going to link to articles, but forget giving them traffic.

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Just now, johnnyboy said:

That's this specific catastrofuck rather than the policy of replacing blended assessments with wholesale exams.  They wanked themselves dry over exams getting too easy and grade inflation - was going to link to articles, but forget giving them traffic.

Agreed. It just makes me smile whenever that shithouse of a paper calls out the twats we have in power, the ones they helped elect

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1 hour ago, Keith Houchen said:

And they’re usually “Exams are too easy” types so will welcome mass failings. 

No, they'll complain about how performance has fallen and we should sack the teachers.

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My wife teaches A Level maths at a good school. She knows her students inside out, who has certain strengths, who has certain weaknesses, who’s tried hard, who’s constantly missed extra revision, who’s turned up after class and who clearly understands the subject.

She’s dedicated, professional and has an excellent track record that falls above the other teachers in her department. I know she’s my wife, but she knows her shit, has an excellent reputation and has worked hard her entire career to be the best teacher she can be. She absolutely loves her job.

As a teacher, she has tools and metrics provided by the exam board that help her and her colleagues to predict grades as the course progresses. She spent an awful, awful long time working out which grades to give each student and ended up 100% satisfied she had it right, standing by every grade based on what she knew about every student and of course their most recent work and of course mock results.

This morning, she was in floods of tears as the results became apparent. Of the 32 students she had, 28 were marked down by exactly 1 grade. 28!

She has some seriously bright pupils who showed every evidence they would’ve achieved a certain grade. But apparently a computer algorithm knows her kids better than she does.

Most of them have missed out on where they were almost a dead cert to go, with their adjusted grades now just too low to get in to their preferred university.

What is also apparent is the kids don’t yet know if the grade they have came from her, their teacher, or from a computer. The headlines are saying 40% were lowered nationally, yet for her class it was well over double that percentage.

The whole thing stinks, and this will, in my opinion, be the one thing that this government will be unable to shake off.

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15 minutes ago, scratchdj said:

My wife teaches A Level maths at a good school. She knows her students inside out, who has certain strengths, who has certain weaknesses, who’s tried hard, who’s constantly missed extra revision, who’s turned up after class and who clearly understands the subject.

She’s dedicated, professional and has an excellent track record that falls above the other teachers in her department. I know she’s my wife, but she knows her shit, has an excellent reputation and has worked hard her entire career to be the best teacher she can be. She absolutely loves her job.

As a teacher, she has tools and metrics provided by the exam board that help her and her colleagues to predict grades as the course progresses. She spent an awful, awful long time working out which grades to give each student and ended up 100% satisfied she had it right, standing by every grade based on what she knew about every student and of course their most recent work and of course mock results.

This morning, she was in floods of tears as the results became apparent. Of the 32 students she had, 28 were marked down by exactly 1 grade. 28!

She has some seriously bright pupils who showed every evidence they would’ve achieved a certain grade. But apparently a computer algorithm knows her kids better than she does.

Most of them have missed out on where they were almost a dead cert to go, with their adjusted grades now just too low to get in to their preferred university.

What is also apparent is the kids don’t yet know if the grade they have came from her, their teacher, or from a computer. The headlines are saying 40% were lowered nationally, yet for her class it was well over double that percentage.

The whole thing stinks, and this will, in my opinion, be the one thing that this government will be unable to shake off.

These cunts are covered in Teflon and will shake this off though and it will go away just like everything else does, that’s whats so disheartening about it.

I’m sorry to hear about your wife being in tears and what’s happened to her pupils, but we’ve seen over the last few months that this government don’t give a flying fuck about any of us.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, jazzygeofferz said:

If all my GCSEs and A-Levels had been exam only I would have smashed it because the information was there, but as soon as I was out of that academic environment I had no inclination to do any coursework, as a result it was either not turned in, or some hastily cobbled together token effort done under duress. Looking back it was probably an Autism thing. 

As King Procrastination coursework fucking ruined my GCSEs. I was Lord Superb in an exam but Cs and Bs in pretty much all coursework meant low As and high Bs in the full results. Horses for courses. 

 

I absolutely used to love a good exam. Me vs the world! 

 

But again, Horses for Courses and people learn different ways. I've always hated visual and aural aids, and hated even more being told. I've always liked learning by doing for myself. People thrive in different fields, especially as kids, and it's dogshit that those what don't get on with the (in my opinion) exciting cut and thrust of a good exam have to fall by the wayside when they're harder workers than exam nobs like myself. 

Edited by PowerButchi
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This Twitter thread's quite a handy explainer of what's going on:

There are some shocking cases though. I saw a comment from someone whose daughter was marked three grades below her predicted result.

The worst thing, as it stands, is that these kids are being charged a fee if they want to appeal. That's indefensible, especially as it's those in poorer areas who are most likely to have been affected.

Edited by Uncle Zeb
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Not just a fee, but about ÂŁ100 per subject.

 

Also there is a line in the OFQUAL guidance somewhere that says if you appeal then it may mean a regrading (read: downgrading) of the whole centre's results.

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