I've written about Coursework before- how it used to be a complete farce when the pupils did it at home. (Those with good parents got them to help, or pay me to do it; whilst those whose parents wore gold chains and football shirts simply lost it)
No doubt entirely due to my rantings, the system was changed so that Coursework is now done in school under something like exam style conditions. This has been a big improvement and generally results in work being handed in that has mainly been done by the kids themselves.
So far, so good. Now their teacher marks it.
Hang on a minute, I hear you say. Their own teacher actually marks their exam work? Oh yes.
My friend Ernie is a strict marker. If it's wrong then it gets marked wrong. Unfortunately this results in his groups getting lower Coursework marks than the others, which reflects badly on him. His protests that the other teachers mark far too softly have fallen on deaf ears, as the marking guidelines are open to a huge range of interpretation because the questions themselves are often vague. Last week he showed me half a dozen examples of answers where the pupil clearly had no idea what is going on, but they had been given almost full marks by others in his department. It was very sad to see.
"There's only one thing for it!" he declared sagely. "I need to sort myself out and start marking these wrong answers right. That's the way forward"