Anorak News | A Is For Easy

A Is For Easy

by | 15th, August 2005

‘IT’S August and that means it time to run the story about how A-levels are getting easier.

‘2B Oar Knot 2B’

Though the results for this year’s successful batch of examinees will only be known on Thursday, the Times lets its readers have a sneak preview of the results papers.

The good news is that almost a quarter of girls are predicted to achieve a top A grade in the subjects of their taking.

Or is that the bad news? If exams are so easy, the implication is that the three-quarters who fail to score the top mark are thicker than Cherie Blair’s sun-kissed hide.

Over in the Telegraph, the news is that “sources” at the heart of examining say that for the 16th successive year the number of students being awarded an A grade will rise.

Overall, the pass rate is expected to show an increase on last year’s 96 per cent pass rate. Rounding this up to the nearest whole per cent, showing workings wherever necessary, this means that at least 97 per cent of students are expected to pass the A-levels they took.

Which is impressive, and a sure sign that education has improved by leaps and bounds since 1988 – even if a report from the Curriculum Evaluation and Management Centre at Durham University says that pupils achieved between one and a half and three grades higher in 2004 that they would have in 1988.

And it is clear that there is still room for some improvement. The A–levels try hard but could do better. But things are on track and one day it might not be only Saddam Hussein who scores 100 per cent in tests.

A Department for Education spokesman explains: “What the evidence shows is that standards are being maintained. Indeed, it’s not the grades that have been dumbed down, but the arguments of those who want to hold children back.”

While we can debate, using examples wherever necessary and a Venn diagram, the rights and wrong of the Government’s education, education, education polity, it’s undeniable that with so many passes things have gotten much better.

And, in fairness, it might be that it’s not the exams that have altered but the subjects taken. We live in fast times, and there are inherent difficulties in comparing and contrasting an old A-level in English Literature with a new one in Text Messaging, spell checker or no spell checker…’

Posted: 15th, August 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink