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Nev
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How exam results in the UK keep rising...

... whilst actual standards seem to have fallen:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6918805.stm


 
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Re: How exam results in the UK keep rising...

Unscientific method, small sample, sensationalist reporting: take with large pinch of salt.

This article makes a mockery of the of the work done by both me and thousands of other colleagues. It's a rant room I know but this thread is insulting. Worst of all, it devalues the efforts of thousands of kids who do things properly and have no inappropriate help, with or without their knowledge.
 
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Re: How exam results in the UK keep rising...

I hate the whole "children are getting stupider, exams are getting easier" stories which get repeated every year.
To be honest, I generally attribute it to a group of adults who can't possibly accept that youngsters might be more intelligent than they are.
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Re: How exam results in the UK keep rising...

I think the problem is that when uk.gov
sticks it's big nose in (and this goes for anything)
they are target/"metric" obsessed.
To the detriment of all else.

From what I see kids having to do in France
I'd say standards of education in the UK have slipped
over the last 20 years.



When I went to school it was pretty poor.
So bad that most people had to be given a
remedial maths course during college so
they were up to speed for an engineering degree.

Language was taught in a real haphazard
BS way that gave me squat. (Both English
and foreign.) I flunked French at school.
and to this day feel cheated about that.


Can anyone (hand-on-heart) say that people
are leaving school with better language skills
than they had a decade ago?

 
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Re: How exam results in the UK keep rising...

Hmmmm ...years ago a lot of the Private secondary schools here in Victoria, Australia used to help prime their students so that they could get into University. But from what I remember,the students performance at University still depended on their own ability. ie the 'force' feeding did not help in tertiary enviroment.

There are ways around "cheating'.

For example when I did Engineering at Monash University,we did a Fortran programming course (we are talking mid 1970's) .
A lot of the students cheated when doing the programming practical work buut they were totallf shafed when the exam came along....

Yes, in the 2 hour exam we had to write a computer program and actually have it work by running it on the "portable' Monecs computer.....


"Before the personal computer, it was impossible for a class to students to have hands-on access to a computer within a one hour school period. Mainframes were unreachable, and mini-computers too expensive.

A group at Monash under the leadership of Dr Len Whitehouse solved the problem with a small system that could be used in the classroom. Mark sense cards were used, and a class of 30 children could each get two runs in a one hour period. The system was called MONECS. It was marketed by Digital Equipment Australia as DEAMON and many units were sold in Australia."



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Re: How exam results in the UK keep rising...

Are exams getting easier... Of course they are. Anyone who says students are more intelligent now are as dim as the government bods who reinvent our qualifications.

1) I work with unis who are more desperate now then ever. Yes students have a broader knowledge but not a specialised in the subjects they have taken at A-Level. Consequently 4 year degrees are now the norm to make up for this shortcoming. I will not even mention maths. This is a major issues.
2) If students are better, as suggested by results, does that mean unis are worse as first class degree awards have not risen like A-level results.
3) Unis need to differentiate, how can this be done when everyone achieves B & A’s. I have just been interviewed about the governments new A* scheme for A-Level. Why not just make the paper harder so that a grade A means something. Why must all students get an A and the best get A******. You know learning to fail or underachieve is an important thing. How else can you address I if it never happens to you.
4) GCSE Science is now so dumbed down (GCSE Gateway Science) it would not be recognised by most teachers or valued for its content. Still everyone passes it don’t they !!!!! So it must be good, the teachers teach it well and the students appreciate it !!! Bullcraaaaaaaap. Its easy as ****sssssssssssssssssss.
5) If achievement has risen so high, how come we still lack key skills in the workforce, still have to look abroad for our skills base, still have one of the least productive countries in Europe and still have such high unemployment. Where are all these little geniuses ?????

This is no great surprise to most, but for the short sighted and ignorant, NO !, Despite massive increases in GCSE results, we are not a nation of super powered brains living in a technologically advanced society. The students of today have similar skills and abilities to those 10-20-30 years ago. Except now they get 467 A*’s whereas before you got 5-8 C-A grades.

Now I have had a rant, I feel soooo much better. It guts me to see the government tinker in education to a stage where no one can be seen to fail, not even the teachers. When will we as a body of people stand up and say ‘Enough’. I pity students of today. Real life will deal them some mean blows as schools no longer prepare them for it.
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Re: How exam results in the UK keep rising...

Kids don't 'get cleverer' over a decade, they are humans the same as us grown ups and have the same potential as we did, they have the same genes as us, literally! Maybe the human race can get more intelligent over the next 10,000 years, who knows? But Blair hasn't made them cleverer, that's for sure! What he has done is introduced a culture of targets where exam boards have made their exams easier so that schools will use them to meet those targets. It's economics! When I was at school there were various boards, Anglian, London, AEB, Oxford, Cambridge, roughly in ascending order of difficulty IIRC. How can that be though? Surely they are all regulated? Well I can tell you now, we did exams from all of those as part of our mocks and there was a good 2 grades worth of difference between the easiest and hardest! So in a climate of fear where 'underperforming' schools have their grants cut, what do you think would happen? It's pretty damned obvious...they use the easier Boards! And of course, the Boards have to compete with each other, they are businesses and need to stay in business!
Now I don't blame the teachers in any of this, they only have the tools they have been given (the syllabus) and the raw materials (the kids of the day) and they have to get on with it.
I am convinced that overall, there has been a 'dumbing down' in education standards, in the same way that targets in the health service have become meaningless with manipulation and massaging of figures to meet targets.
Kids aren't getting thicker, but they are being 'gifted' grades which they couldn't have hoped for years ago. Then they will have false expectations of what they can expect from the job market and life in general. It sucks!
And if I am talking ********, give the kids a Cambridge Board A level from the late 70's to do, and see what grade they get. Oh no, I forgot, you can't compare now with then, it's just soooo different.... Yeah, you bet it is!
 
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Re: How exam results in the UK keep rising...

In summary, the Blair govt. applied its own dodgy brand of spin to the education system with disastrous results. It has done the same with health. Blair has created a world where nothing is quite what it seems, a fantasy world where you're told everything is OK, we're all doing just fine. It's a bunch of crap! God knows how long it will take Gordon Brown to get away from that...if ever.
 
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Re: How exam results in the UK keep rising...

Here here.
Set a target, change the criteria for counting and you have made your target. Hey presto.
e.g. Getting a Doctors appointment, Hospital waiting lists, Uneployment figures, 5 A-C's etc etc etc. According to the figures You can see your doctor within 24hrs, hardly wait at all in casuality or for an operation and of course the nation is much more qualified as standards have risen.
REALITY CHECK !!!!! Can ot see a doctor, wait as long as you ever did at the doctors, wait in casuality and hope that you qualify to go on a list to wait for an operation.
THANKYOU Mr Blair.
God I sometime hate being in a nation of sheep that believe spin.
There were the poll tax riots because for less. Yet because of spin and subversive government tactics we end up with cruddy NHS, we under sell our teachers and children and dont even get me started on public transport.

Arhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh that feels better. Think I will take the car for a spin.
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Re: How exam results in the UK keep rising...

I had to explain what the word "annual" meant to a school leaver trainee last week.

"How often do you have to do an annual inspection?"

Turns out he didn't even know what the word meant, let alone be able to apply common sense to realise the answer was in his own question.
Having regularly seen the consequences of the current education system in action through work experience and new trainees, I seriously question what, if anything they're teaching them.
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Re: How exam results in the UK keep rising...

Sweet F.A in reality. But if we could teach them what they need to know, how could you measure it? The bosses/government would not know if we were productive. Consequently we have short narrow minded targets set on an 'annual' basis. Long term targets like the next 20 years OR even the young students immediate life when he/she leaves is inconsequential.

To quote a friend...... 'Whats the use of 20 A* GCSEs if the student mugs,knives,shoot someboday or turns to drugs' etc etc etc. But still the school has met its target, the kid has his A*s. Whole system sucks!
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