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Cheating in Controlled Assessments

Discussion in 'English' started by kissykissy, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    This is not how it works.
    AQA sets the topic for the CAs, but teachers set the questions/tasks. AQA then determines the grade threshold post exam.I don't think that 'course work' thresholds have ever been published in the past, though overall thresholds have and they have always varied.
  2. manc

    manc New commenter

    Ultimately, we are all in the business of education for the same reason - to ensure that candidates get the grades and qualifications they deserve

    I agree with regents here. Unfortunately for many teachers, most heads and SMT want children to achieve results that THEY think they deserve, and their expectations are unrealistic.
  3. I am very concerned how schools are interpreting "should not" in the panning and feedback stages of CA, so I contacted AQA about this and below is their reply:

    Dear XXXXXX

    Thank you for your e-mail,

    The phrase "should not" indicates very clearly that an action should not be done. For example, if you told a child they "should not do something" you would not expect them to interpret that as "you can do something."

    The statement "should not be providing detailed / specific advice on how to improve drafts; give detailed feedback on errors/omissions; provide model answers or writing frames" is open to interpretation on both professional and moral grounds. Please contact JCQ on 020 7638 4132 if you require a more detailed explanation. Alternatively you can visit JCQ's web-site at www.jcq.org or e-mail at info@jcq.org.uk

    Kind regards,

    Exam Office

    It is simply not right that some schools are going to be placed under increasing pressure because of other school's "interpretation".

    I will contact the JCQ about this and also Mr Gove, but perhaps if more teachers complained to the exam boards, JCQ and Mr Gove this issue might be sorted by the time of the exams.
  4. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I don't think that's actually clear at all. If they meant MUST not, they should have said so. I read it SHOULD as MUST but AQA must have been aware that SHOULD is not quite as clear cut, especially for those people who want to bend the rules.
  5. Sedgers

    Sedgers New commenter

    jemmy - you are not the only one. It's very much like that at my school. I imagine we are not the only ones...
  6. Jemmy, I feel your pain. Fighting against spoon feeding to hit spurious targets and wishing that a child who is lazy, feckless and disinterested might be educated in the broadest sense by getting the grade they deserve for their input. Independent learners? My urse.
  7. I feel your pain Jemmy. I'm lucky that my HoD believes that students must follow the instructions and work under exam conditions. How that will be taken by mgmt/governors if there is a dip in attainment from the kids who in previous years would have been spoon-fed is anyones guess. If all schools stuck closely to the rules then the dip would be national, which would be fairer on the kids but would also reduce pressure on HoDs as they could illustrate it as part of a country-wide pattern.
    As it is, I am proud of you for having the courage of your convictions. I'd recommend you enlist some support from your union rep just to ensure that you've covered your back and then (depending what you think their attitude might be) you could approach either the head or your HoDs line-manager and explain that your HoD is probably only doing this as they expect pressure from above but that it is contrary to the rules and that if it became widely known, (kids may talk to friends from other schools who would then be bound to ask their own teachers "why can't do it the way XXXX school does it?"), it could cause an embarrassing situation for the school.
    If some child told me that such things were allowed in one of our neighbouring schools I would DEFINITELY report it to the exam board. I wouldn't want our kids put at an unfair disadvantage.
    It may be tough-love but I really believe you are doing the best for your kids and for your school - whther or not they appreciate it!
  8. I have mixed feelings about this - I loved exams and hated coursework but this summer a very hard-working student of mine freaked out and totally bombed her exam.
    Perhaps it would work if the mark was 100% based on exams but the exams were taken every 12 weeks rather than at the end of a two year course - otherwise you are testing little more than memory.
    Perhaps with these stupid league-tables and pointless bandying about of meaningless statistics by politicians using them as a stick to beat teachers with, it is too much to hope that some schools would not bow to the pressure to get results by any means.
  9. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    That won't happen because too many will fail.
    It's all about giving the appearance of making the exam stricter and less susceptible to cheating.

  10. manc

    Did you get any replies from the Dalai Lama, Pope Benedict, the AA, the RAC, the SPQR or the TUC?
  11. purplefizz

    purplefizz New commenter

    The pressure we have from SLT is MASSIVE. The students have completed CAs as they are supposed to and, of course, results are therefore not at or above (aspirational) target grades for many of our students. My observations have been consistently outstanding. I work hard; I don't have lazy lessons (no time); I, and the rest of the department, feel sick with worry and pressure constantly. Why is there no acceptance that of course results will go down (as they are more realistic). I feel like I'm failing everybody. This system is awful.
  12. I've just read my school e-mail to find the instructions for getting the CA folders together, and including the instruction "All folders must be at or above target grade." This is being done by either getting kids to rewrite CAs after they've been marked, or by fiddling the Speaking and Listening grades to make up for lost marks on the written work. When I've dared to suggest that the CAs should be done in exam conditions and that lots of schools are doing that, I'm told that that is rubbish, that CAs are really coursework, and that we have to cheat because other schools will be doing so, and we cannot afford to let our results slip at all. I'm sorry, but that is wrong, and the demand to have all folders at or above target grade is unrealistic, if the CAs are done in the required conditions. I thank God that I am taking early retirement at the end of this year. The drive to achieve targets is definitely corrupting and I loathe being made to feel that I am not doing right by my students because I am not making them stay behind after school week after week to rewrite the bloody things.
  13. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    Of course it is. I truly sympathise with you.
    And, of course, if we were not made to set unrealistic targets in the first place, we would not then need to feel the need to cheat to get there.
  15. amylong

    amylong New commenter

    A fair bit in my dept:

    essay plans are given out
    a list of relevant quotes are often given
    sentence starters are given
    I've walked into classes at breaks, and after school, where pupils are doing their CA unsupervised, and with an essay plan that tells them what to improve, often telling them what to write.

    Very frustrating. I occasionally give a few more minutes if a pupil hasn't quite finished but that's it. I know that teachers often do the same title again as a redo.
  16. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I know for certain that a member of my department has allowed students to take assessments home for completion.
    Our new HOD has arranged for the next assessment to take place under exam conditions, on one day, in the exam hall.
    I look forward to seeing this teacher's class' results....after bullying me over results and saying that my group should be achieving above target, I look forward to seeing the difference in results when students in this class aren't permitted to work at home.
  17. Do you have an LEA advisor you can speak to? I had to do this with a member of staff inmy department and she ended up with a written warning.
  18. dusseld1

    dusseld1 New commenter

    Actually dong Edxcel in an international school, first and last time reverting to IGCSE.
    Recently told by a visiting moderator, Divide CAs into 30 minute chunks, read through and reflect on the board any suggestions for improvement!!!!
    Unbelievable and so disappointing when we've been following the rules, despite endless grief from our pushy parents that in the UK.
    Total lack of integrity, maybe the promise/threat of there being only one board is leading to their desire their board produces the best results?
  19. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    This proposal has been ditched.

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