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Exam Results

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MickLL, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    What a fiasco!!

    The powers that be have had months to think about this and here we are with knee jerk reactions on the last day.

    I reckon that teacher grades are likely to be way too generous (I've read estimates of up to 38% jump in grades) and some moderation was called for.

    What's happened now is unfair to last years examinees and also to next years. What will happen next will be a furore over university entrance as the admissions tutors try to distinguish between all of this year's crop with inflated grades.

    Learning likes this.
  2. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    That's a sweeping assumption from you! Without knowing how pupils performed when at school this year and how they might have performed in an exam, your acceptance of the statement that grades were inflated by up to 38% (how precise!) is so full of holes as to be laughable. The proof will be in how many drop out of university, if they go there, and how well the remainder do. Nothing new there then.
    Mike40 likes this.
  3. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Which is worse, using previous grades for the school and then giving the lowest marked pupil an E because someone got an E in the previous two years or using teacher predictions and giving the pupil a B because that is what the year's work justified?

    Short of actually making everyone take the exams how do you propose to get it right because neither Teacher assessment or the previous method will be right?
    Zou likes this.
  4. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    We used to have a sensible system of apprenticeships, technical colleges, polytechnics and universities. That meant school leavers had a much wider choice of paths to follow on leaving school. We even had the Open University and (for a brief period) the Open Techs. Tory Blair and his obsession with academia has damaged a lot of young peoples' lives.
    Learning likes this.
  5. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    As with any forms of continuous assessment or teacher grades, moderation will have been carried out (or certainly should) where dip samples of the varying grades will have been checked. (according to my ex Headteacher wife).

    As soon as they started this whole thing, my wife said straight away, disadvantaged kids would suffer. She said her pupils at her old school (albeit a primary) would suffer in those circumstances. She worked in a disadvantaged area with many problem kids, yet there were some, as always, that shone and went onto better places other than prison (some of her ex pupils are currently serving time). The excelling students would have, and quite clearly have, lost out on this whole debacle.
    Zou, Catriona, RogerMac and 1 other person like this.
  6. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    The above is flawed too.

    My number comes from educationalists who have been involved in the moderation. It's not a journalists number.
    As I frequently say I don't have time to write the essay that some of these topics deserve and I don't have time to search for the link. Equally, I don't pluck numbers from the air and I do have enough scientific background to make a judgement about the likely veracity of a number based on who is using it.

    I also have enough of a background in education to know that huge changes in performance are , to say the very least, unlikely.

    Learning likes this.
  7. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    There are always some who drop out of university and it may or may not have something to do with exam grades. I am sure that there will be some students who, because they are not good at exams, will get better grades and may well go on to get good degrees that may have been denied them any other year. There will also be those who shine in exams but not at course work, they may not get into top universities but may do better at a less exalted institution.

    Personally, I have never liked exams and have found the ever increasing numbers of top grades to be of some concern, anything that restores some sanity would be agood idea.
    Learning likes this.
  8. Mike40

    Mike40 Well-Known Member

    We have the most incompetent administration since Canute, so why should anybody be surprised by the latest farrago?

    My grandson will now get into college, which he probably wouldn’t have done if relying on algorithms - so I cannot, selfishly, be anything other than pleased. On the other hand, I feel desperately sad and angry for those students who have either lost the opportunity to go to university because their place has been given to someone else or those who will have the place they were given taken away as a consequence of ‘corrected’ results.

    This should never have happened - as with so much since the assumption of power by the coalition in 2010 - but why are we surprised? 5 months to prepare, idiots and ideologues in charge, an experienced civil service marginalised and the interests of the population considered unimportant.......none of this latest ‘u-turn’ was driven by an attempt to find fairness - somebody suddenly realised that all the gcse, b-tec and a level students would be voters at the next general election and people who have had their lives wilfully ruined will not be forgiving.

    Hopefully, people who have been through the worst of this Tory (and let’s not forget the role of the craven Lib-Dems) s**t should all be unforgiving too. Ignore the blandishments of the right-wing media, ignore the seductive mewlings of the ‘take back control’ mafia and realise that unless we all stand up for ourselves and cast these specimens into the outer darkness we are condemned to endless repetitions of such malevolent maladministration.

    Take care,
  9. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    The Open University is still around, and thriving. It simply doesn't have any normal undergraduate facilities in Milton Keynes.

    Sadly, Covid means that the monthly open Institute of Physics lectures I used to attend have ceased.
  10. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    Interesting. My ex-son in law (nice bloke, just not a good match with my daughter) runs the IT for a group of schools. Crunching the numbers he's found that over the last 5 years, class teachers unofficial predictions of pupils grades are within 1% of actual grades attained.
    Zou, RogerMac, Gezza and 2 others like this.
  11. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    There will be exceptions in all school sets of results. Exceptional students from generally badly performing schools may be rare, they may not show up every year. They may even hide their ability to some extent in classes in order to avoid bullying for being clever. Only an exam will allow them to shine. They would be penalised by the best attempt to properly moderate results.
    The performance of schools tends to change only slowly over many years. The results which were moderated downwards would have been fair to most students provided the teachers had ranked them correctly. Ranking ability within a school is easier for teachers than assessing an absolute grade.
    Grade inflation of this year's results is not only unfair to previous and later years' examinees, but also genuine high achievers of this year's cohort.
    I doubt that there is a fair method of awarding grades for an exam which has not been sat.
    There may be cases where universities should be carrying out interviews but this is unlikely to be possible on a large scale.
  12. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    That is good. Do you believe it to be true for all schools? I do not believe so.
  13. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Far too many universities. Universities used to be places of learning, now many are simply businesses.
    Back in the 1960’s only 4% of school leavers went to university. Now it’s around 40% (so it says on t’internet).
    When I left school I started an apprenticeship. Only the very brightest went to university.
    Whilst I appreciate that there aren’t many apprenticeships available these days, there also aren’t enough jobs which require a university qualification either.
    Mike40 and Catriona like this.
  14. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    There are lots of apprenticeships available, just not in the traditional industries associated with apprentices. Nowadays they're not restricted to school leavers either.
    Mike40, dangie and Catriona like this.
  15. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    I was say pretty much every class teacher would fairly accurately predict the grades any of their pupils will attain. Unfortunately they've had to follow the process set up by this inept government.
    steveandthedogs and Mike40 like this.
  16. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    I’m certainly not sticking up for this government, but if roles were reversed and Labour were in power would it have been any different?
  17. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Your opening sentence suggests that what follows is just going to be a politically motivated rant. That is not the way to present your case in a convincing way.
    In spite of that opening sentence I have read on.

    I hope that your grandson gets the further education appropriate for him. If he had been able to sit exams then would he have gone to the college which will now accept him? If so then fine.
    If not, and since the ability to perform well in exams is almost essential for good progress in an academic institution, he may struggle. Getting into debt while failing a college course is a major personal setback. It need not be a disaster. I hope that he considers his options very carefully and is successful in what he chooses. My own experience of doing a MSc. mid career was that my motivation was much higher than when I studied A levels at school. I had too much to lose if I had failed. I guess students with growing student debts have that same pressure to succed.

    On a different tack, but which I think is relevant. Have you regularly listened the 'The life scientific', a Radio 4 program in which Professor Jim Al-Khalili talks to leading scientists about their life and work. If not then you might be surprised to hear how many of his high flying guests were not high fliers at school. https://www.radio-uk.co.uk/podcasts/the-life-scientific . I haven't counted the examples but I guess that in about 10% of his guests who have discussed their early introduction to science you find lowly beginnings.
    I am not suggesting listening to 110 hours of podcasts in one session! Not all the interviews discuss the guests early lives.
  18. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    I've no idea, but they're not in power, this government is. The blame for the current situation lays squarely at the government's feet, but yet again they've been found lacking and ar trying to pass the buck.
    RogerMac, steveandthedogs and Mike40 like this.
  19. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Yes it would have been different. No doubt about it. Would it have been better? That is the question. I don't know but guess not better.
  20. Mike40

    Mike40 Well-Known Member

    Please define ‘Labour’.... do you mean the red- Tory version of Blair, the aberration that was Corbyn, the post-war government of Attlee or some yet-to-be-tried application of socialism?

    Take care,

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