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!