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SATs markers

Discussion in 'Primary' started by DFC, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. <font size="2">Showergel, many thanks for our input, I was afraid that this may be the case. It's such a shame though as I though it was a good piece of writing that made you think of the business of the place without him explicitly describing it. Many thanks again for taking the time to reply</font>
     
  2. I understand why you're disappointed Miss Informed. I can see why the lower marks with given- i..e the children hasn't written a description as such- the markers have to follow a very strict mark-scheme and there isn't much scope for considering how good the writing is if it isn't 'fit for purpose'.
    However from reading it it is clear this child can write at Level 4! You can see that from the style of writing. Level 3 is bad news for the school and then you get the government saying schools are failing these children- even labelling as children that 'are leaving school not being able to write'! This is clearly not the case!! I was pleased with results this year, but writing is SO frustrating. I had a solid Level 5 boy who came out with a 3. Good marks on short writing but messed up on the long writing completely- wrote a story about a trainer- so clearly got awful marks- he came out of the test saying he thought the report task was boring so he wrote the marker a little note saying her wasn't going to write a report but a story he said. He told me what he did after, he hadn't 'been revising to write about such a boring task in the end'!! He has behaviour problems but is really bright and read his story and it was fantastic. Do I know he is Level 5? Yep course I do!! Sometimes we've got to trust ourselves and not let the results get us down.
    Kids will be kids and don't always perform on the day. Same as adults- I remember failing a mock exam for mis-interpreting the task at university! You know he is Level 4, just go with that and be proud of the obviously good work you've done with him:)
     
  3. Just read that back- wasn't having a go at markers at all. Think you do a brilliant job and i'm sure most markers agree that the test results don't always reflect what the children are capable of.
     
  4. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Didnt read it as a go at markers shiney, just at the stupidity of tasks set. And I think most markers agree with you about the tests this year.
     
  5. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    After a lot of phone calls, the scripts I have been dutifully holding on to since marking them at the end of May have finally been collected, so if anyone is still waiting for the return of their papers...it could be you!
    I have been paid for most scripts - they have not paid in a couple of cases where only the reading paper was sat, so I have emailed them about that. No sign of the admin fee, or of any payment for the S and benchmark scripts...cant find anything about these in the handbook.
     
  6. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Oh...have just found this on P.29...Communication and S/benchmark scripts to be paid "At the end of the marking process." Could be a long wait then!
     
  7. Lalad - assume you meant end of June (you said May)? What happened? Which subject?
    Agree that most scripts fees etc. have now been paid for, with BM/ Communication fees due at the end. Not quite sure why they has been tacked on to the end, because those of us who managed to leap over the hurdles did so weeks ago. Feedback/pass/fail for BM2 was 5th June. However, have to say, current system has been better on the pay front than in the early years of marking. From memory - with Aqua, and possibly Edexcel, I recall markers were not paid anything at all until the very end, with one payment being made in mid-July. Thus to have received any of it in advance has been a bonus.
    Have you all seen the latest report? Seems we markers are in the frame again!
    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20090705/tuk-unions-warn-of-marking-inaccuracies-6323e80.html
    Also hope that you have all been following the teachers' SATS results (sorry to Markuss if he is around) forum thread regarding their views of their results. All very interesting, because certainly the issue seems to be English marks, with many upset with writing outcomes. I feel a bit comforted reading those - not for them but for us. We were, around the time that thresholds were announced, commenting that we were finding disparity between reading scores and writing scores. We, as markers, can't all have got it so wrong, could we? Perhaps the mark scheme requirements/nature of the task/manner in which children didn't write what was required played a part?
    One teacher has turned to the forum for advice, presenting a verbatim example of a child's work which scored low marks on C and E. She asked markers to respond as to their opinion of the score given. In isolation, the work would - if totally representative of the child's development and achievement over the year - warrant a Level 5 evaluation/TA, but sadly the piece failed to address to the requirement of the test criteria. A marker - I think Showergel (sorry if someone else) replied and explained. The teacher has accepted that, but I do feel for her as she has clearly worked so hard with her children to get them writing so well. But it begs the question: how many teachers/schools are asking for reviews on a similar basis with similar evidence?
    I am currently trying to find out/establish what happened after 'the flaw' was admitted and markers who had failed were then reinstated. Anyone know? Any TLs out there who can explain? It is all still vague, because as a grass-roots marker, I never received any info about it, which left me wondering if I was continuing to mark with 'the flaw' (emphasis on singular, when we had to be tested on, and continue to work, with multiple flaws) remaining as part of my marker understanding. PM me if you don't want to post.


     
  8. Thanks for your help guys
     
  9. Thongy1

    Thongy1 New commenter

    I have not been paid for reading papers when the child was stated as "B" for writing. Also, one school sent me 9 children's scripts although they were marked as "B" on the mark sheet from school. I changed the marksheet status to a tick, as I had received the papers, and dutifully marked them...some of the children scoring 3s for reading. However, EdExcel are not paying me for them!
    Quote from e-mail recived:

    I have investigated
    your query and I have come to the following conclusions with regards to the
    payment issues you raised in your email. I hope you will agree that if a script
    was not there to be marked, e.g., if the pupil did not sit the exam due to
    absence or leaving the school, then there shouldn&rsquo;t have been a payment
    generated for the marker in question since they did not mark an actual script.
    This seems to be the case in most of the instances.

    However, I DID receive the papers, and I DID mark them!!!!
     
  10. gcsouth

    gcsouth New commenter

    Hanow as a year 6 teacher who is about to spend the next week completing review requests for just about every just in my class I am very interested in what you refer to as 'the flaw'. Would you mind expanding on that this is? Our papers have clearly been marked by two separate markers - we suspect that one failed benchmarking looking at the original marking. However they are still shocking marks and we are SO disappointed with them.
     
  11. Gsouth - as I said, we - to my knowledge - have never been told what 'the flaw' is/was. Edexcel and marker agency stayed very quiet on that one.
    I shall try and find the news article which announced it a week or so after we had begun marking. It is referred to here on this forum some time around end of May. By the time 'the flaw' was admitted to by someone on high, we were already considering that 'many' flaws existed from our point of view as markers. We had, by then, been tested twice - with many experienced markers being ejected as failures. However, those of us who managed to survive that far - passing two tests - received further commentaries with the AMD for those test script responses to add to our collection for reference (that was our training part). Thus, our 'training' instead of coming before our testing, followed it; the 'cart coming before the horse' with many falling off, including very experienced team leaders. I know, that will make no sense to you - it didn't make much sense to us. We should have had all of the possibile answers as part of of reference material from the outset - not following two tests where guesswork was required.
    Upon receipt of those further commentaries, markers then had multiple contradictions, inconsistencies and anolmalies as compared to the original mark scheme (which schools had) and have no idea if it was 'one' of those which was singularly described as 'a flaw'.
    I can't explain your papers being second marked I am afraid. It may have been that the original marker withdrew or was withdrawn. That is another grey area for markers. We were told very little, but I believe that once it was accepted that the test materials were at fault, then markers were invited to return. How many did, I do not know. We did hear that through a rushed appointment system further new markers were trained/appointed a couple of weeks after the tests had been sat by the children. Again, we never learned who these new appointees were, or whether they had ever marked before etc. It would be really useful to hear from anyone who knows.
    Gsouth (sic? sorry can't see your original post/name whilst on the reply screen), that probably doesn't help you too much, but PM me if you want anything further or more specific.


     
  12. My understanding of it was there were flaws in the pilot papers provided by QCA which formed the basis of our standardiaztion (pre-marking check we were marking to the scheme) and benchmarking (after around 70 and 150-ish depending on how many kids per school - papers on-going check we were still following the markscheme). Essentially what it meant was that we were marking in accordance with the markscheme (which has a hellish number of additions and ammendments to it this year) as we'd been trained - but the standard marks QCA had given out as the acceptable ones for each paper were never going to match up in some cases... as we have to hit a set average mark difference over the course of the benchmark sets of papers to continue marking (so if we're over or under on each individual question it gets added up/taken away for a total difference over reading/writing).... in a few cases, very good, experienced markers with consistent A grades (smallest AMD and least appeals each year) were being "failed" against these flawed benchmarking materials. In some cases, they were told to carry on marking (the "below-par" markers from the nice pleasant TES article last week) because Team Leaders accepted what had gone on - and in some cases they were booted off unceremoniously... very much seems to have depended on what team leader you had. These people generally weren't fresh out of the bag recruits - but people experienced in marking for many many years, who just fell foul of the fact that benchmarking this year appeared to involve a great deal of telepathy to deduce what answer they were accepting that day for these scripts... generally it seems to have hit the reading benchmarks more, and I don't think it affected live scripts apart from the BM2 scripts changing what was acceptable for one question compared to what was said on training day (the question about how had he proved earthships were cheap to run where the references to bills in terms of acceptability of answers drifted completely over time - hannow probably has more inconsistencies from people as they were collating them).

    I believe guidance cascaded down was that scripts returned by these "failed" markers (and I'm putting that word in quotation marks as I don't believe they truly failed in many cases - although there are probably the odd ones out there, many just simply didn't second-guess the differences and changes in acceptable responses well enough to continue) were to be remarked still in red ink which explains the multiple red bios on scripts.

    It has come to my attention that some markers who have received reallocated

    scripts may have been advised by the Helpdesk to mark scripts in any colour

    they like. As you will appreciate, this instruction is incorrect and could

    cause countless problems at reviews when review marking will be in blue!

    Please could you ensure that all markers are aware that if they receive

    scripts that have already been marked, they should mark the scripts in red.

    If they agree with the mark awarded by the original marker they don't need

    to change the mark. If they disagree with the mark, they should cross the

    original mark out and write the new mark next to it.


    Fished the cascade out of my email... that's the guidance concerning reallocated scripts.

    The other issue (which cannot be blamed on the markers at all this year) was that there was no borderlining done... they seem to have taken the decision that nothing was landing on the borderline levels in previous years (because understandably people go through, check those papers and try to get the kids marks so they end up in the upper bracket wherever possible - we're not heartless creatures!), so they held the level thresholds back almost till the total end of the marking period (was the beginning of the final week where we got them and just had to go down the yellow copy marksheets and put them on) so we couldn't even SEE what was just on a level boundary and let it affect judgements.... just so you're aware of that going on. Similar happened last year in that the levels were put on by the magical, mysterious, occasionally working, ETS computer system and markers didn't even get to hear what the level thresholds were!
    When we put the level thresholds onto marksheets quite a lot of us noted there seemed to be a pattern of significantly lower writing levels than reading levels and that the reading marks seemed to be pulling children up into the higher level... the issues we noted with the writing task have been laid out a few times on this thread and on the other SATs results thread:
    • Very boy-oriented long writing - girls seemed to really struggle with it
    • One of the things the mark scheme looked for was technical vocab - but unless you've done something like the slippers DT unit recently - are the kids really going to have an off-the-cuff knowledge of the names of different parts of a shoe and properties?
    • The report was meant to be addressed to the shoe-shop owner... yet what on earth does Mr JJB Sports have to do with how Nike manufacture their trainers? Seemed to be desperately reaching for a boy-friendly task without thinking it through.
    • Loads of kids struggled with what to write - by the time they'd talked about needing luminous yellow laces instead of pink for 2 paragraphs they drifted into waffle about when they went to the shop wearing their new trainers and what they bought etc etc etc.
    • The short-writing was a lot more straightforward but the trainers task many of us feel was utter Balls.
    The reading generally just had the markscheme from hell - shame because the Norman text was a really fun little text to read - and some of the kids' answers about why we didn't need to see the letters Norman sent were hilarious - one wrote something like "because if you did that it would make question12 really easy - duh" and lots of "if you did that the booklet would be twice as thick and we wouldn't bother reading it"s.
     
  13. And Hanow got in there as I was typing!
    I believe my first team leader fell foul of these standardiaztion and benchmarking flaws - she suddenly sent us a very terse email saying she wasn't TL anymore about the same time that the TLs were hitting benchmarking.
     
  14. Is anyone else still waiting for payment?
     
  15. taj

    taj

    Yep - still waiting for payment for 303 scripts.
     
  16. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Just waiting for expenses and benchmark and SS payments.
     
  17. Typhoon

    Typhoon New commenter

    Does anybody know when we will be paid for Bench-Marking and Standardisation scripts, or if we do indeed get paid for these? It says in the marker hand-book that payment is automatic, at the end of the process - however, the process ended some weeks ago now!
     
  18. Bsmirched

    Bsmirched New commenter

    Typhoon - we definitely should get paid for them, but I haven't been either yet, although I have today been paid for the last of my scripts. The end of the process could mean just about anything but they have said they wan't everything paid by the end of July I believe, so here's hoping!
     
  19. hcnip

    hcnip New commenter

    got paid for last of scripts today - anybody totted up how much we should get for admin/standardisation/benchmarking? just out of interest...
     

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