Thursday, 26 August 2010

Lies, damned lies and exam results


The enthusiasts (or should I say apologists) for our current state education system have come up with a jolly little statistic derived from this years – just this years – GCSE results. It is that:

“…this year’s exam results showed the state sector gaining on private schools at both GCSE and A level.”

Now I’m not going to go rambling through the statistics except to state the obvious. This is that the independent schools have hit a ceiling – year after year the majority of private schools have 99% of students achieving 5 A*-C Grade GCSEs and similar numbers achieving good grades at A level. When every child is getting top marks, it’s pretty hard to find ways to improve overall grade scores of performance.

And we know that – for A Level at least – the gap has grown over the past ten years with private school performance moving from 3.5 times more likely to achieve the top grade to four times more likely. There has been no appreciable change this year and the new A* grade has shown the same pattern.

I’m not going to play the “grade inflation” game but the closing of the (massive) gap is down to the A* ceiling rather than any wonderful transformation in the performance of our dysfunctional state system.

In the meantime read this.


No comments: