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Exam Results

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

  1. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Absolutely not.
     
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  2. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    This whole thread is about what changed this year! In short it’s now teacher assessment instead of moderated examination. MickLL
     
  3. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    But teacher assessment grades, compared to final examination grades have been pretty accurate in previous years. Why so different this year?
     
  4. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Catriona likes this.
  5. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

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  6. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Oh sorry, I didn't realise.
     
  7. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    But that's not true. Your opinion seems to be based on hearsay from one school and doesn't represent the national picture. There has been little academic study on the accuracy of teacher prediction but what there is points to inaccuracy and over generosity. I'll give links at the end.

    I live near a 'super selective' school (if the 11+ pass is 300 they need 350 to consider entry). Their results year after year, for fairly obvious reasons, are pass rates in the very high 90's and , as I said, they achieve that year after year. Making predictions in that school is pretty easy. Even if they predicted 100% they wouldn't be very wrong. About the same distance in the opposite direction is a comprehensive that, until recently, was in special measures. It's now improving quickly and is one of the schools where the algorithm would have got it badly wrong. Their results are very much lower and their entry requirements are 'anybody welcome'. Their results are pretty low but, more to the point, very variable. Some of their kids will score zero and some excellently. Predicting in that school is hugely more difficult than in the first example. I know these things because my grandson is moving to secondary school next month, covid willing, and I visited all the local schools and asked the questions.

    Now the algorithm. Yes it's upgraded some results - but in the grand scheme of things not many - remember we are talking nationally and not just about a few examples that journalists can dig up! Personally I think it quite ludicrous that the algorithm has been used for any results. If it's discredited for downgrades then it's no good for upgrades either. I'm sure that it has contributed to grade inflation in a minor way but the biggest effect is teacher prediction. Of course those who want to stick to the 'perfect teacher' opinion won't accept the forgoing. It's another example of the cock up and the Government trying to make the furore go away.

    Now my links. Not much properly academic work done but what there is can be found easily. As far as I can tell one of these is a proper study and the other is a sort of synopsis of what has been done, (done before this cock up and so not influenced by it). They consistently show over generous predictions - and that seems to have been repeated this year. I simply do not buy the notion that teachers get it right all the time. Remember I worked in education for over 25 years and saw, year after year, that our actual grades were lower than the teacher predicted grades.

    It's interesting to see that one of the findings bears out my anecdotes above. It's much easier to predict for high achievers than it is for lower achievers.


    https://www.ucu.org.uk/media/8409/P...ec-16/pdf/Predicted_grades_report_Dec2016.pdf

    https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/2020/08/11/predicted-grades-what-do-we-know-and-why-does-it-matter/

    MickLL
     
  8. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    What would you do if you asked your grandchildren what they wanted to do and they told you - plumber, car mechanic, artist, author, play in a band, be a builder, carpenter or have a shop?
    Would you still have them cram for exams to geet into the 'best' schools? To make you happy and proud? Or let them follow their own dreams?

    And before you say where did that come from - it came from your many posts and obvious aspirations and my understanding of where you are coming from.
     
    Andrew Flannigan likes this.
  9. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    Then you have read me entirely incorrectly and , once again, you are trying to introduce an issue that's 100% irrelevant to the discussion which, to remind you, is about exam grades and the mess made this year.

    I've many times told you about my time in education. That was in an FE college which, as you probably know, ends up with a very mixed ability range. We taught a huge range of subjects from highly practical to highly academic. Our goal, and my personal goal, was to find the best fit for the student and whatever his/her choice try to make that student the best that they could be in their chosen field.
    As I said you are not only introducing a red herring but getting me and my opinions completely wrong.

    MickLL

    PS To answer your grandchildren question I've already supported a granddaughter who didn't want the 'traditional' route. However (and why you might have misread me) I do have a grandson who is very academic and wants to follow an academic path, and I have mentioned him and support him too.
     
  10. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    This, every time. Our education system should serve the needs of the learner and not the obsessions of academic snobbery.
     
    Learning likes this.
  11. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    For me it's kids rather than grand kids.
    I've let them choose their own route but guided them to keep their options open - this includes studying for exams/courses even if they are not relevant for the dreams they want to follow.

    My daughter found out about the dissection involved after being offered a place on a animal husbandry course & decided for herself that perhaps that wasn't where she wanted to go. Dreams change.
     
  12. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Not wishing to dispute Mick's education experience, I still maintain that any general examination system that has a very high proportion of results in the top grades is not adequately examining candidates.

    I would expect the vast majority of my colleagues to have passed a type course examination for the simple reason that other selection criteria should have prevented anyone not capable of a high grade pass from being on the course in the first place. Schools are somewhat different in that, at GCSE level, the majority of pupils are expected to take certain exams, Maths and English for example, and the results in those subjects should show a wide range of grades. At higher levels, or in pupil selected subjects, some degree of bias towards higher grades might be expected, self selection at work pupils don't voluntarily take subjects they aren't interested in. I would expect at A Level to see a lower failure rate, because pupils are studying a smaller range of subjects, that they have selected for themselves. However, when the majority of candidates are expected to pass, the examination criteria should surely be such that they separate the really exceptional from the less exceptional. Our system seems to be failing to do that.

    In the case of the type course examinations mentioned earlier there is little need to separate the exceptional from the rest for the simple reason that there may be only a hundred or so candidates in the first year and they need to be amongst the best to even get on the course. In the case of A Levels, if there is a need to separate the exceptional candidates the system doesn't work. If, on the other hand, there is no such need then I have to accept that the system may be adequate. Is there such a need?
     
    Learning likes this.
  13. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    There are exams like the driving test where most people should be able to pass & how much a student is above above the pass isn't relevant.
    I agree, for tests like A levels with graded levels of pass the grades should give a better indication of how good the student is, if 10% get the highest grade how can people use the grades to select the top 1%? This may not be relevant for many universities/employers but it certainly is for some.
     
    Learning likes this.
  14. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I would have thought that teachers were pretty good at assessing students abilities. Which is not the same as predicting exam grades. What a student is capable of and what they produce under exam conditions can be very, very different. Some kids are lazy and only cram at the last minute (I was one of those - if I'd been taking my exams this year I guarantee I'd have very low teacher predictions based on performance to date but I'd have swotted like mad and got decent grades in the exam. Only this year I wouldn't.) Some people work hard all year round and crumble under exam conditions. Some years there's a badly worded question that throws a high proportion of students off course. Some students get lucky with the questions that tally in with the one bit they studied. It's impossible.

    Someone once said ot me that doing well in exams only proves that you can do well in exams. This years crop didn't get to sit any exams so the results they've been given could actually be a better assessment of their abilities and personalities and actually be more use to future employers than any real exam results would have been.


    *runs and takes cover* ;-)
     
  15. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I agree with this completely.
     
  16. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    You can come out! I agree with you. We always used to say that the real examination came when you were faced with a broken 747 full of passengers at 22:30 with the airfield closing in 30 minutes and no spare aircraft. I don't recall failing that one but we did have to use the night flight exemption once or twice.

    We have become consumers of education and there is a tendency to forget that, when it comes to it, exam results are meaningless.
     
    Catriona likes this.
  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    This really is the most appalling, insulting, abject nonsense. The educational standards people I know are spitting feathers at the appalling political interference from this atrocious secretary of state. Ofqual don't believe the lie about teachers inflating grades; problem is that this government are so fundamentally dishonest that they can't conceive of somebody doing their job honestly. All the evidence showed that the vast majority of teachers if anything were slightly harsh on their students: that's certainly borne out by my son's school. One of the top 200 non -selective schools in the country, excellent in every OFSTED category, had its CAGs savaged. One half-Spanish, bilingual lad who had taken GCSE Spanish 3 years early and got A*, then retaken it under the new grading scheme and got a 9, had never got any grade under A* during 6th form, mother is a Spanish Spanish teacher, given an A* CAG - and he was awarded a B at Spanish Language A Level. As was another Spanish native speaker. Absolutely insane.
    My own son was predicted 3 As, and I believe would certainly have achieved at least ABB at exam. His CAG was ABB, but the Governmebt-screwed results were BBC - C in Maths. At no point during the 2 years had he scored so low, and in fact the school used him to do online tutorial work for L6 pupils during lockdown. He has lost his first choice at University thanks entirely to unnecessary political interference. Be very clear this is a government cock-up, Ofqual following orders whilst complaining bitterly - unlike Mick's so-called "educationalists", the people I know are absolutely on the inside of this absolute mess.
    So it's deeply insulting to insult students and teachers with such an utterly disgraceful post, quoting "educationalists" who are clearly massively out of touch with actual experts in this field.
    If it was any other poster, I would be massively disappointed, but from the most-complained about poster of all time, sadly such vileness is expected.
    Carry on trolling, it's all you seem to know.
     
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  18. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately not the first time I have heard of such a thing. I remember hearing of a native speaker failing their language proficiency exam as cabin crew! I never understood how this could happen but apparently it did. Insanity doesn't begin to describe a second language, Spanish in this case, speaker deciding that a native speaker isn't good enough for a top grade.
     
  19. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    Unlikely to be the case for Benchista's example but I find it hard to imagine some Glaswegians I've met passing English as a second language, likewise Geordies... Regional accents can be strong enough to make them nearly incomprehensible to those outside their regions, even when the listener is also a native speaker. :p
     
  20. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I remember we had a Geordie in out apprentice intake, I think it took us the first two years to understand him.

    If you hadn't noticed, I am less then enamoured with our exam system. Mainly because I don't understand what it is trying to achieve any more.
     

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