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Good - No apology from SQA Boss

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by aypi, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  2. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    But the SQA was only "following orders". Now where have I heard that before?!
    aypi likes this.
  3. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    Swinney is a tool, no doubt about that

    He put in his former chief civil servant to "fix" the SQA. Seems she is an arrogant tool as well
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  4. TheBigA

    TheBigA Occasional commenter

    Estimating can be a tricky business, but I don't like the arrogance in the repeated statement that teacher's estimates are largely wrong, when the same claim could equally be made against exams and specifically the approach to marking them taken by the SQA.
    aypi, mousey1394 and bigjimmy2 like this.
  5. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Estimates can be wrong for a whole host of reasons, and you can rest assured that the all-knowing general public will be down teachers' throats with this new evidence of, let's call it "unprofessionalism".

    Having said that, estimates are well out in general, and not just in Scotchland. It is genuinely poor that schools do not hold enough objective evidence to judge where a pupil is wrt a subject or skill etc.

    I was reading at the weekend of a surgeon who freely admitted to mistakes that she had made - and I shouldn't need to remind anyone of the potential seriousness of even a minor error during surgery. She was taking steps to avoid those mistakes being repeated in future, and not just for herself. Point being, everyone makes errors of judgement, ie mistakes.
    TheBigA likes this.
  6. TheBigA

    TheBigA Occasional commenter

    There are two problems - the amount/nature/quality of the evidence we can generate throughout the year and the assumption that teacher estimates are wrong because a pupil achieves a lower grade in the exam.

    The problems are linked but one of them is easier and quicker to solve than the other (in theory) - just trust teachers' judgement. That should be the starting point from now until this review of assessment is complete and something is done about it in 30 years.

    When it comes right down to it it's the culture of education in this country that's the problem. QIs, accountability, triangulation of evidence, homework, study clubs, supervision duty, tracking and monitoring, enormous, pointless parental reports...the list goes on. Fix the culture, fix the problem.

    Howabout a wee experiment...let teachers have serious time to plan, teach, assess and feedback properly and let's just see what happens.
    Effinbankers and bigjimmy2 like this.
  7. Gavster77

    Gavster77 Occasional commenter

    Wasn't the last SQA boss as having a lifestyle that made Keith Moon look positively sacerdotal.
  8. Marisha

    Marisha Established commenter

    My old faculty based its estimates on prelims and coursework. Where possible, we'd take timed exercises into consideration, but the CfE timetable made this increasingly difficult. (Our contact time with each year group was cut back. Not our overall contact time, you understand - each teacher finished up with more pupils.) The problem was the HT who used chunter on about professionalism and how he trusted his staff - he was quite happy, he said, if we were optimistic in our estimates. (You had to be there: it was quite clear that he was telling us to boost the estimate grades.) We used to ignore him, but I've often wondered where his ideas came from: at one point he seemed to have close ties with people higher up the ladder.

    He was also in favour of allowing pupils with a D at Nat 5 to take the Higher course. Inevitably, these pupils would drop out.

    We were obliged to fill up a table for every single course after the results came out: number of candidates who achieved better than estimate; number of pupils who achieved lower than estimate; number of pupils who achieved their best result with us; number who achieved their worst result with us. This was in addition to Insight and our performance against virtual comparator schools.

    He used to claim that it was the responsibility of the class teacher to compile this data. I checked with my union, and then did it all myself as PT. There was no way I was going to encourage inflated estimates.

    I often wonder how much damage is done by rogue headteachers.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  9. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    I can't remember the exact details but it went something like this. I did my estimates and based them on prelim, unit tests, homeworks (whether done or not, plus marks), attendance, attitude etc.

    My FH asked me if I had done my estimates - she knew fine well I had, so why ask? - and then pretended to look at them. After about five minutes she returned and asked why my estimates were "so low" (they weren't). I told her what I had done and what I had based my estimates on and she retorted with the immortal - to me, any way - "Are you saying they won't improve in the four months between the prelim and May?". Again, I reminded her what I had based my predictions on and she told me that the DHT would question my estimates (oooh, scary, eh?).

    The FH upped the grades herself after I told her I wasn't doing it because I had based my predicted grades on objective evidence and professional judgement. Result = FH happy, DHT happy, but absolutely nothing gained for anyone. An example of the unprofessionalism and incompetence of school "management".

    After all this, I still managed to be generous in my predictions when the results came out, must be a teacher thing, right?
    PamDemic and Marisha like this.
  10. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Gav, I don't get it, am I missing something?!
  11. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

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