Standards?! What’s going on with GCSE grades?

Standard

Standards?! What’s going on with GCSE grades?

teacherhead

Are standards going up? 

Here’s my annual twitter joke for GCSE results day:

DfE media guidance. Response to GCSE outcomes:

  • If results have gone up: This is evidence of policy raising standards.
  • If results have gone down: This is evidence of policy raising standards.

It’s a clever trick – but it’s not actually wrong.  A case could be made for both statements being true.  We can talk about ‘raising standards’ to mean setting higher benchmarks for the standards we expect or we can talk about the standards that have been met – but they might not be the same thing at all.  Nobody is better at maths simply because they sat harder exams – especially if they failed it.

I am a supporter of the exam and curriculum reforms in general but the truth is that our education system is permeated by confusion (and a fair degree of ignorance) about…

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