Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Level Results Shocker!

I was very disappointed by the A Level results this year. Mainly because the absence of the following pictures in the press cost me a £20 bet with Mrs C.

1) The group of pretty girls from a nice Private School and their young attractive headmistress, delighting over their superb results.

2) The twins with identical grades.

3) The Chinese boy who only learnt English last month and has got 20 A Levels.

4) Ashley from Scagton, who is the first member of his family ever to go to University.

These pictures were once the Gold Standard of exam reporting. You could depend on seeing them each year at this time. Their absence is the clearest sign yet that the A Level is in serious decline.

Postings will continue to be sporadic until 3rd September, when normal poor service will be resumed.

16 comments:

youdontknowme said...

This isn't too surprising. The government controls education so people elect them to give children a good education which is why the government are either responsible for dumbing down exams or they don't care because it shows that they are improving education.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as someone who has recently got out of the teaching game, I can say without hesitation that the two most overwhelming facts about our A'Levels are: Firstly, they HAVE got easier, largely because students are no longer required to develop any deep, critical or analytical thinking abilities. They are not taught to go out and find answers for themselves or to question and debate what they are taught. Instead, the poor bloody teachers - who are under increased pressure to keep improving their schools league table results - have no choice but to spoon feed their students like babies.

Secondly, because of the increased use of coursework, students are able to get far more help from "external sources". When I say external sources I really mean other people doing the work for them. Thankfully, from next year coursework will have to be done in class and not at home.

Our education system used to be thought of as the best in the world. If we want to get back to that we must scrap league tables, give teachers the real professional autonomy they deserve and stop this reliance on a target driven culture, that puts too much pressure on both teachers and students and doesn't give sufficient time for topics and subjects to be covered in depth.

Sorry rant over.

Dinoplod said...

I understand that your profession is as target driven as mine but I have to ask, are exams getting easier? This is a real issue for me as there is so much conflicting information about. The press lies to sell papers and the Government lies out of habit. Only those that do the work really know......

Mousie said...

As someone who passed her GCSEs and A-levels about a century ago, of course I am going to agree that they are hugely easier now than they were then.

But surely this is right? How else will Shaznay, Leigh-Anne and Chesney ever get the results they need for the NVQ1 in burger flipping, lap-dancing or TWOC?

Anonymous said...

fsreOnce upon a time a student sat an exam, all the papers were marked out of 100% and the top 10% got an A, the next 15% got a B, the next 25% got a C and so it descended down.

In those days when you saw an A grade you knew that the person was in the top 10%, and it also handled years when papers were harder than other years because there was no fixed percentage to guarantee any grade.

Then along came targets and somebody decided to change that, and to include coursework into the final mark.

Nowadays universities are quite rightly saying that they have no waying of telling who got a good A and who got a bad A, they cannot identify the top students.

The response.......who lets introduce an A* and just give that to the top 10%.

If they had left it as it was we wouldn't be in the mess we are now where an A grade isn't worth the paper it is printed on (compared to yesteryear).

Rant over

Jamie said...

I've lost the paper but there was a boy who got 7 grade A A-levels as well as passing two Grade 8 music exams the other day, was there not? And funnily enough, I actually assumed he wasn't English, whatever the truth. That's a bit telling.

Martin said...

In the old days, there were many exam boards. Now there are only 3, run on a commercial basis. Schools tend to use the board they perceive to give easier exmas. It's fairly obvious how this might lead to a drop in standards.

Anonymous said...

Has Mount Everest got easier to climb? Must have, because there are more people doing it. Or is it because a) More people are attemtping it and b) they are better prepared?

Adrian Stanley said...

Or is Mount Everest easier to climb because 25 years of erosion have worn it down to only a thousand feet high?

Dinoplod said...

Yes results were sliced by percentage in my day as well.
Papers today report from the CBI that whilst brilliant at IT many of our current school leavers cannot add up, write or express themselves in an understandable manner. Targets have caused so many problems in so many aspects of society.

Anonymous said...

Everest has always been the same mountain but it is now much easier to climb than it was in 1953 when it was first climbed.

Nowadays the route is prepared at the start of the Season by teams of sherpas and climb leaders who place fixed ropes on much of the mountain and carry up Oxygen cylinders to make it easier for the less experienced who have paid to be escorted up to the top.

All the equipment is much lighter and better weather forcasts can improve the chances of a successful summit attempt.

A Levels have become more like Snowden than Everest.

Anonymous said...

Plus the ease and relative cheapness of travel. In my youth the marathon rail – sea – overland journey to Everest and back would have beyond 90% of the population.

Anonymous said...

Now, if you'd just bet on record grades being awarded for the twenty-fifth year running, you'd have had a shoo-in.

But I suppose nobody would take you on that one.

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Quick Home Sale UK said...

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