Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A-Level record results shocker!

Yes, tomorrows A-Level results will be better than last years, the year before that, and lots of other years before that as well. How is increased achievement a bad thing, success is to be welcomed.

They are getting easier each year will be the cry, and this idea will take up much space in the newspapers. It's a shame when students work hard to get their good grades and have their achievements denigrated.

How are A-Levels getting easier? Maybe, just maybe, the pupils are being taught better and better prepared for them. No one says that the 100 Metres running race gets easier, or any other sport, yet records are always being broken, often with the increase in technology and fitness playing a part. People get better at doing things, that's evolution. Lots of old folk don't like this, it was harder in their day, we have it easy now, "I remember when we had to sit Latin, my boy! Not this Sociology lark"

Polly Toynbee has sensible things to say on the matter here. Some good points:

"in an average primary class of 30 children, only 14 will go on to take A-levels and only one will score three A grades - hardly inflationary"

"This is a phoney controversy, of concern only in the offices of the Spectator, Times and Telegraph, where well-paid parents worry if the vast sums they spend on their children's schooling will buy an Oxbridge place or not."

Of course though when I did my A-levels back in 1998, they were 7 times harder than they are now, in 2005.

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