After a week of GCSE and A-level results, we are in danger of missing the big point – our assessment system is not fit for purpose. It ruins the last four years of school on a narrow, stressful, unfair and badly designed exam merry-go-round. So, before we revert to flawed pre-Covid exams, now is the time for radical change.
The results of teacher assessments, we are told, is “grade inflation” but perhaps they actually reflect grade reality – the reality of what a child has learned in that subject over time, rather than merely what they can recall in that highly pressured moment in an exam hall.
Being able to find the triangle in a hypotenuse is not what we’re wondering whether pupils can manage. What we are trying to do is sort and rank the kiddies into those who would benefit from an academic training and those who would not.
You know, societal resources are scarce and all that, appropriate tools for the job, who will have the most value added to their innate skills and talents by what sort of training?
We don’t, in fact, give a toss what they’re learned. Near all of it is lies to children and has to be unlearnt by the second year of any – whether vocational, academic or properly hands on – system of adult training.
The entire point is the sort and rank function.