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Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by gnulinux, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    What no comment?? According to the writer "Scotland enjoys one examination board which communicates with, and is generally trusted by, teachers. " Enjoys?? Really?? And do we 'generally trust' the SQA?? Well I for one DO NOT and I can assure anyone reading this that I am not alone!! And as for communicating with teachers, when the SQA makes a mistake in a exam paper, rather than admit it and make amends, they simply batten down the hatches and stonewall, hoping that the problem will go away if they ignore it for long enough. That is simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Of course the people who are actually being short-changed here are pupils/exam candidates and their parents. And what are the SNP doing about this?? Well nothing by the look of it. MR and co need to get a grip of this issue. After all if they can't be trusted to run the Education System properly what can they be trusted with?? When a pupil sits an exam, having prepared for it for years, the least they can expect is that the questions asked make sense.
  2. Judging from today's news Ofqual have extended their remit beyond punishing exam boards to highlight the... 'manipulation' of grades by some schools and teachers.
    (Some may prefer the more blunt and accurate term of 'cheating')
    Still banging the drum for a MacOfqual?
  3. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Has anyone seen this???


    Can anyone explain how a question can be (according to the SQA) both valid and ambiguous?? Why can't they just declare the 'question' invalid discount the marks etc. admit their mistakes and move on?? And why has it taken them months to have even this unsatisfactory response dragged out of them?? If this had happened south of the border the exam regulator would have jumped on the Exam Body and made them sort the problem out right away. Clearly the SQA cannot be relied upon to regulate themselves. And what about the other 2 Humanities subjects referred to??

    The sad fact is that over the last 10 years mistakes have appeared in SQA exam papers. These have been fed back to the SQA by teachers immediately after exams, which has resulted in no action being taken; no admissions; no corrections; no adjustment of marks; no apologies; no mention in principal assessors reports; no attempt to change the errors in past papers (they're still there I can assure you); there have even been veiled threats of moderation visits if anyone rocked the boat.

    We need a MacOfQual and we need it now!!!
  4. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Cast your minds back to 2000/2001 ...


    In particular ...

    "This further unforgivable set of errors proves the need for a root and branch review of both the body that supervises the exams, and the exams themselves," said the Scottish National party education spokesman, Mike Russell. "Even after spending over £11m of emergency funding the SQA is still unable to secure the confidence of Scotland, still less the confidence of the young people, parents and teachers it exists to serve."
  5. Have you expressed your views to anyone important?
  6. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Erm I thought that's what I was doing here! There have been 3500+ views of this topic (good) but precious few comments (which tells its own story of the sorry, and somewhat moribund, state of the Scottish Education System). Are you trying to say that HT's/SMT's know nothing of this?; the Unions?; LA's and Directors of Education?; Education Scotland?; and what about markers and setters etc? All of the above are keeping quiet about what they know. But for how long?????
  7. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    It has clearly worked in your case!

    I am so shocked!! If that was true, why have they not raised the issue in the mainstream Press?? The reality is that most of the 3500 are lurkers from the education sector.
  8. Clearly!!! lol. If you really want to make a change, you're naive if you think you'll do that by posting anonymously in an internet forum.
  9. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Why do I get the distinct feeling that you are on fishing trip???

    In fact you 'sound' very like someone who is trying to help teachers; perhaps a fellow traveller?? Just tell us your name and which school. We will send 'the boys' round to help you.

    This poster is not for byte-ing!! Frustrating isn't it??
  10. Not frustrating at all. What you do is your business, but I'm getting the impression you complain about a lot of things, but really don't have the guts to complain to the right people, hence the apparent frustration in the many posts you make, especially in this thread. You come across as desperate, and, to be honest, if I'd reached the level of anger you appear to have, I'd have contacted appropriate people already and voiced my concerns. If it bothers you so much, get yourself into a position where you can make a difference - even get a job with the SQA, where you can maybe start to make some changes? there's no limit to what anyone can do if they feel strongly enough about it.
    Alternatively, sit at your keyboard and post to randoms on the internet.
  11. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    In SQAland, exam questions can be unreliable or invalid - there is no SQA definition of "bad".

    What evidence do you have of the the SQA actually dealing with "bad" questions, as you put it?? Did they admit the mistake?? Did they change the question in the Past Paper and alter the Marking Scheme?? What subject/year/level was it?? Where is your evidence that the SQA has actually done something?? If "bad" questions are dealt with in the way you have suggested, then that simply is not good enough. The whole process needs to be both transparent and verifiable. The problem is that it is neither of these. Accountability is the watch word. As far as I can see it does not apply to the SQA. Hence the argument for MacOfqual!!
  12. Thought you weren't going to "byte" ;)

    I can think of one example where they admitted the mistake, removed the question from the marking guidelines and adjusted the marks and grades accordingly, then removed the question from past papers. All without McOffalQual telling them to do it. (I bet I can find a few choice comments you have made about the school inspections in these forums - what makes you think an inspector for the SQA would be any more effective?)

  13. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    That is NOT evidence!!! Do you really think that we are going to take your word for it that something was actually done???Subject, year, level etc. Come on then - we are waiting ...
  14. I really dont understand why you think anecdotal evidence (which is all that I could possibly have) is going to be of any help. It's not me that has the issue with the SQA - I've experienced examples of the SQA moderating themselves and you haven't. But you've not actually presented here any evidence that confirms your "rock the boat" idea, or "stalinist state mentality", or "feedback being ignored", etc etc etc.

    You started the thread with an outrage that the SQA are in some way corrupt and need a governing body. My concern is that if you have the evidence to back this up, you would have/should have gone to the relevant people and presented your case. If you have as much conviction as is apparent in your posts, then surely the thing to do is to take your evidence to your union (or HT, or subject support group, if you have one in your area).

    Let's say that you were successful, however in forcing the government to establish inspectors for the SQA. Given your own experience of inspectors, and your own glass half-full outlook, what effect do you think the inspectors would have on the overall quality of the exams?
  15. I really don't have the time (or even the inclination) to go and find the specific example I mentioned. Big mistakes are few and far between, small mistakes are corrected and accounted for in the marking arrangements. But I can only speak generally. Take my word or not. Doesn't bother me. It's not me that has the issue with the SQA. Just giving my experience. A couple of others have posted that they also question your statements. In fact, no-one else in this thread has really agreed with what you claim. Maybe its a subject specific thing?
  16. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I think it might be.
  17. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    If you are able to think of the example, what was it?? You make the claim and then cannot/will not substantiate it.

    When you say 'subject specific' I take it that you mean it can only be one subject, mine. Well you are very wrong, I can assure you of that.
  18. For goodness sake, it was around 5 years ago, I don't have access to the exam paper, and the past paper was corrected (so can't even look in past papers books).

    But I think you have to realise that I'm not the one making claims. YOU are making claims the SQA are corrupt, and I've just stated that in my experience, I don't see it. The burden of proof is not on me, lol.

    YOU have made very wild claims and other than repeating those claims, YOU have provided no evidence to back them up.
    It's YOU who needs to convince others YOU are right, because the default situation is that most people have confidence in the SQA's ability to, on the whole, moderate itself.

    It's a bit rich stating wild accusations without proof then DEMANDING evidence from someone who does not agree with your accusations.

    Go on then. Assure me. Convince me. Back up your claims.
  19. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Past papers are 'conveniently' available on the SQA's website - mistakes and all. Any bona fide secondary teacher would know this. You HAVE made a claim - I have pointed you to the source of your 'evidence'. Now, go fetch!!

    And while on the 'doggie' analogy isn't it somewhat incongruous that you went 'barking' mad at your fellow professionals over the GTCS Consultations and yet are wont to 'roll over' for the SQA??
  20. And as I said, I reallly can't be bothered to go dig out some "evidence" to back my comments, when you appear to be completely oblivious to the fact that your claim has been presented without any evidence backing it up - YOU started the thread, YOU have the complaint, YOU apparently have the evidence. Yet you haven't stated anything other than tabloidesque "headlines". If you can't be bothered to convince the people who are not agreeing with you, what do you really expect?

    Would be different if every 2nd post contained something from someone agreeing with you, but it doesn't. Most rational people would, at that point, think about what they've posted and wonder why so few people are agreeing with them. Not you, it seems.

    No, I simply stated my experience. You can accept it or not. I don't care!!!! lol. YOU started the thread making wild claims. This is YOUR thread. Why don't YOU want to provide evidence to convince everyone that your claims are correct?

    As I have stated already many times, yet you appear to ignore at every opportunity, I have no issue with the SQA!!! And I'm not prepared to fight a corner that clearly does not need fighting. Now, if you have an issue within your subject with the SQA, do what any other professional does and register a complaint in as many places as you can. Seek out your fellow specialists. Contact the SQA as a group. Present your evidence to them. Do something positive. It really is POINTLESS posting in here. No-one here will be able to do anything with your unfounded claims as presented here, and no-one really agrees with you (possibly because you're the only ICT teacher here? )

    The time to end a discussion is when abuse is hurled. Seek help with your fellow ICT teachers.

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