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Shambolic and unacceptable A level results

Discussion in 'Personal' started by red_observer, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    What a mess. What a disgrace. Teachers estimated grades ignored, school managers putting data above professionalism and a similar situation bound to happen in GCSE next week. The exam boards downgrading after this? Appalling.

    hopeless government leaving thousands of students in despair. But are we surprised?
  2. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    More than a bit of a mess.

    But the perfect (sic) solution is far from clear; to me at least.

    On the World at One at lunchtime, a rep from the English Qualifications Commission (or similar) dismissed correctly in my opinion, the Scottish solution, as championed by Keith Starmer, because this both builds in unfairness due to teacher partiality and also consolidates grade inflation to the detriment of everyone.

    bombaysapphire and nervousned like this.
  3. WB

    WB Star commenter

    Just playing devil's advocate, but is there any possibility that more than a few teachers did grade their pupils too highly?
    mathsman, lizzy9 and nervousned like this.
  4. WB

    WB Star commenter

    Would a solution be to not set teachers unrealistic targets thus giving a reason to grade too highly?

    Too late for this year.

    I'm not a fan of the Scottish solution either; I suspect it was more political than educational.
  5. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    The fact that adjustments were made based on the previous cohorts results struck me as stupid. I do not see how one year group could affect the rest. For instance in my year of the degree the results were the best they ever had, whereas the previous years had been the worst. By this system all my year would have been downgraded. (I realise degrees are different, but students are individuals, and should be treated as such.)
    afterdark, TheoGriff, LiamD and 8 others like this.
  6. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    There is no ideal solution in a non ideal environment. They should have realised this is hopefully a once in a generation event and for once trust the teachers. I didn’t inflate my grades. They were based on my own data and understanding of my boys and girls. I feel for them today. But as I’ve said in another thread we may have to do all this next year. Who knows?

    The teacher estimates should have stuck. So they would have been inflated? But they’ve missed months in their education and no generation has ever had to do this even in WW2. They could have still been moderated by the exam boards but this obsession with comparing results of other years is just palpably ridiculous. These are human beings not robots.
    TheoGriff, LiamD, Laphroig and 12 others like this.
  7. WB

    WB Star commenter

    I agree but systems designed to work with hundreds of thousands don't tend to work well on an individual basis.
    needabreak likes this.
  8. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    absolutely. Let’s stop comparing year after year. Judge children and each child on merit.
    ms honey, LiamD, Nellyfuf2 and 5 others like this.
  9. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter

    It is worth searching on-line for the audio/ video of Scottish Education Minister John Sweeney when he announced the latest changes/ fix/ solution.

    The tone and content of his statement would make a grovelling caricature Japanese civil servant puke.
  10. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter


    • Their teachers give the grades?
    • Their parents?
    • Their mates?
    Why have we not implemented such a wonderful system pre-C19?
    Oscillatingass and nervousned like this.
  11. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    In a school that was a byword for propping up every other school in the league table, I recall one year group who, purely by coincidence, contained a very strong cohort of achievers and purely by their results moved us from bottom to eighth from bottom.

    They would have lost out spectacularly under this system.
  12. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    It's highly likely that some teachers would have inflated results - due to pressure from parents, management, financial pressure from school owners around the world, or out of just wanting the very best for their students. How do we keep it fair if it's down to teacher results?

    FWIW while some of mine have been graded down, the results as received look like a fair spread for the class and had these results come back after a real exam season, I'd have been neither surprised nor disappointed. The only qualm I have is that it was my ranking that determined which ones would be moderated down.
  13. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    Yes, my current Y12s are a strong group. Their GCSE grades probably helped the current Y11s, but not the Y12s themselves. But I still can't think of a fairer way to do it which wouldn't be open to way too much grade inflation from some schools or some teachers.
  14. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter


    ...even in an ideal (sic) situation/ world/ education system

    Touché bis
  15. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Results seem to be up across all school types [with greater favour towards Independent sector]
    While many subjects have seen significant increase in % of top grades handed out.
  16. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I imagine there was pressure from some* managers to do so too.

    It's the result of the system we've had for a decade or more now where there are rewards for pushing grades higher in whichever way they can be short of obvious provable cheating, along with penalties for grades being lower than some semi-arbitrary target.

    * anywhere from a few to all of them.
    WB likes this.
  17. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    Stil this reliance on data whilst useful
    Should never be decisive.
  18. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    Obviously their teachers.
  19. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    I think you look at each child and assess their probable grade based on your professional judgement. Why are we comparing with last years students???
    afterdark, LiamD and agathamorse like this.
  20. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    What should be decisive in a situation like this? Yes, when teachers are honest, teacher grades are the best. But teachers might not all be honest and would come under HUGE pressure from management and parents. Grades would be worthless, universities wouldn't know which ones were real and students whose teachers were honest would lose out relatively.
    Oscillatingass likes this.

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