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Replacement A-level grades 'no lower than mock exams'

Discussion in 'Education news' started by 99sobi, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. moontitan

    moontitan New commenter

    Triple c*ck up
  2. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter

    The speed we have to mark them, it is impossible to maintain any decent standard of marking.

    So when we go through it as a class, I let any student show me if they think there is a mistake, and amend records accordingly.

    There are many mistakes, I wouldn't expect anything else.
  3. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    I wasn't criticising you, just agreeing that mock exams should not be taken as the only basis for awarding the grade. The problem is these decisions about grades are being taken by people who have no clue what actually happens in schools.
    ATfan, Corvuscorax20 and strawbs like this.
  4. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    At the moment OfQual haven’t decided what evidence will be required for mock exams to be used instead of the moderated grades. It could be that schools own records of grades would be enough (alongside a declaration that the mocks were done in a formal exam style) or they could add barriers e.g. requiring evidence of standardisation / exam papers. The details of the process will not be ready until next week - if ministers make up policy on the hoof then Ofqual will need some time to try and make it workable
    ATfan likes this.
  5. Clive_Candy

    Clive_Candy Occasional commenter

    The mock grade thing is a sop, pure and simple.

    For the most part, teachers allocated grades on the basis of what we thought our kids would have got had everything gone well for them. What else could we do in the circumstances?

    For the most part, those in government despise teachers and so were quite content to disregard all the effort that went in to deciding what the kids might have achieved had everything gone well for them.

    Now they're bricking it and Gavin Williamson will be the sacrificial lamb though I guess he'll not be offered up on the altar till next week.

    Oh, and is it cynical of me to wonder if there are certain schools whose grades will have been accepted on the nod?
  6. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Does anyone know what is happening about IGCSE grades, which many independent schools do and are not regulated by OfQual? Probably the unfairness gap will increase even more.
  7. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    The real kicker for me is that this will unfairly advantage Scottish students for university places and for future jobs. Some graduate jobs specify minimum A-level grades/use them to cut down the number of applicants.

    I also know of one school local to me which was placed in special measures, the staff body is almost entirely different, and they came top in the county last year for some subjects. Using three year's worth of results is going to bring them a hefty penalty they probably no longer deserve.

    I don't see how they can stick to this in the long-term. I think we're headed for another U-turn from BoJo and friends.
  8. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Indeed because schools could just submit their predicted grades as before and say they are the mocks because the mock papers won't be available.
    blushingberry and steely1 like this.
  9. bugsysmum

    bugsysmum New commenter

    Yes, but then you are suggesting by this that we as teachers lack integrity - I can see the temptation as we want the students we know to succeed as they would , given other circumstances - but if we do then we fall into the position of being less than honest which is exactly what we have been accused of by wholly ignoring our carefully considered CAGs.
    Jamvic and steely1 like this.
  10. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Maybe the ASCL or similar should recommend their members do just that. Submit the predicted grade as the mock on the basis that submitting the mock lacks integrity and are open and honest about the expected results. Otherwise it's an uneven playing field when compared to Scotland.

    Time for teachers to grow a pair on this.
    Catgirl1964, bugsysmum and Jamvic like this.
  11. diddydave

    diddydave Lead commenter

    There's no way that Ofqual is going to accept unsubstantiated mock grades.
    The announcement is a simple diversion, it allows them to claim they have dealt with the 'problem'.
    Ofqual will, eventually, come up with some process akin to a Catch-22 but it will be so far down the road that it will be irrelevant. The sole purpose of 'suggesting' that mock grades *could* be used is so ministers don't have to do anything and have a ready sound-bite to respond to any question regarding 'unfairness'.
    Catgirl1964, ATfan, steely1 and 3 others like this.
  12. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I guess the key thing now for the A level cohort is how universities respond with offers to study.
  13. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    We had three medics have their Chemistry grade reduced to a B but two of them have been allowed to take up their place
    agathamorse and ATfan like this.
  14. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    That announcement is going to come back to haunt ministers. There are going to be a lot of appeals, and there will be a lot of anger from people who have felt that the system has stolen from them.
    I suspect that the request for predicted grades was a smoke screen to lull teachers, parents and students into thinking that the system cared about them and what they thought. Then there would not be panic during lockdown.
    All along, the plan was to "use the data" to generate some grades in line with what the system might have expected.
    The big question I would ask is "how do the grades generated by the algorithms compare to the target setting grades generated at the beginning of the A level courses?" Is there a difference? If so why?
    The virtue of traditional exams is that every participant gets judged on what they have done in response to a standardised assessment. The downside to algorithms is that apart from a (possibly ignored) teacher grade, there is no consideration of how that learner has responded to that course.

    Everything that's been said about the optimism of teachers when predicting grades remains true.
    BG54 and strawbs like this.
  15. jonnymarr

    jonnymarr Occasional commenter

    From Huy Duong ( a parent who has been warning about the Ofqual algorithm for a while now )

    “Suppose you have 100 cars travelling on a motorway and 41 of them broke the speed limit. In the interest of road safety, as a matter of principle, it is correct to fine the 41 speeding drivers.

    “However, suppose that in practice, for whatever reason, the speed trap catches the wrong car, say, 25% of the time. As a result, about 10 of the drivers caught by the speed trap weren’t speeding at all but have been wrongly accused. What sort of democratic society would accept that? It sounds like collective punishment by statistics.”
  16. TheHeadteachersOffice

    TheHeadteachersOffice Occasional commenter

    To be honest I think neither the government moderation system nor using teacher predicted grades are fair or credible options.

    Better in my opinion would have been for teachers to submit evidence alongside predicted grades that could then have been marked by the examiners who would otherwise have been marking exam scripts.

    That way we would have avoided the downgrading by algorithm that has taken place, but also avoided the credibility issue that would have existed by using predictions that have in many cases been inflated by teachers.
    agathamorse and phlogiston like this.
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    To be fair, does your post have a ‘credibility issue’ if it is confusing who to reply to?

    All of these user names are all still live and can all be replied to: @TheHeadteachersOffice ; @CalF123 and
    @GreenTrees123. Imagine a student having 2 other names in the recent debacle. They would be flush with lots of A Level Grades right now.
    Marisha and littledragon25 like this.
  18. Missteach2010

    Missteach2010 New commenter

    In all this madness there is a solid argument to bring back modular A-levels or Teacher assessments at A-levels - because the problem is that students' grade is based on two/three exams at the end of two years which is not good enough.
    Catgirl1964 and agathamorse like this.
  19. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    This whole system demonstrates how League Tables have influenced Teacher Judgements and scared the Profession into Competitive Grade prediction due to endemic fear.
    In the past Teacher Grades were accepted as Professional judgements and given credibility.
    Now they are NOT trusted because of this poisonous system of OFSTED and League tables.
    Looks like it has bit the Government in the A**e.
  20. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    I think that’s what the QCA are kind of saying with their predicted grades. Some schools are more honest than others, after all they have the evidence from previous predictions versus outcomes. The uncertainty will always be the individual student within a school but then when haven’t we been there on results day and seen a hardworking student miss their predicted grades and viceversa.

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