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The end of exam boards ?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Nazard, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    I have written about this is other TES threads in the past, but here, briefly, are my thoughts about this:
    1] It is wrong to have lots of different awarding bodies (exam boards). This leads to grade inflation. Senior managers and head teachers get to hear that one board is easier than another and ask the (understandable) question "why don't we switch to that board?". There is every incentive for the exam boards to ensure their exams are no harder than anyone else's.
    2] It is still possible to have a plurality of qualifications with a single exam board. OCR managed to produce a linear and a very highly regarded graduated assessment scheme - this sort of thing could still happen.
    3] KS3 tests were so much better written than GCSE papers. The questions were more challenging and seemed to be more rigorous. Having the people who created KS3 papers sorting out the GCSE papers in future seems like a reasonable plan.
    4] At the moment the exam boards provide text books (written by senior examiners), training, ICT, etc, to go with their qualification. This is utterly wrong. My pupils should not do better because I bought the book being sold by the people who wrote the exam!
    5] There is one area in which the different exam boards <u>have</u>, I think, been worth having over the past few years. The individual support given by people like Kev and Graham has been excellent. The way ICT is now used to give question-by-question analysis is also rather useful. Would this innovation cease in future? May there _could_ still be a role for exam boards in all of this, because we could decide who we want to mark them. Heads of dept could choose a slightly cheaper set of markers who wouldn't provide the ICT feedback, or could select a more expensive marking group who would provide more support and feedback. The exam boards could then provide all the support/training/books they wanted, knowing that the questions will be set by someone else and that their marking will be moderated too.
    Any agreement/disagreement/additions?
  2. DM

    DM New commenter

  3. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    As Naz hinted above, exam boards haven't existed for many years now.
  4. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Couldn't agree more. There should be one non-profit organisation to handle GCSEs and A-levels. Though notice I deliberately didn't say government organisation - there's already been enough politically motivated dumbing down.

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