Tag Archives: British testing

Testing Wars Rage In Great Britain

The growth in the importance of tests as a measurement of learning has been accompanied by the growth in the importance of those who grade tests. Children in Great Britain are facing a huge void in their lives because for some reason the graders simply haven’t done their grading on time. Tory leader, David Cameron, blasted the entire process of grading and noted “over 130,000 children are still waiting for results two weeks after these were due.” Just 76.9 percent of the English tests taken by 14 year-olds have been graded despite a July 8 deadline for this to occur. There are now calls for ditching the American company, ETS for its fiasco in grading papers.

Liberal Democrat spokesperson, David Laws, hit the nail on the head by arguing, “not a penny of public money is paid to ETS until the results of the independent report has been carefully considered. Ed Balls should scrap the Key Stage 3 tests for next year and re-invest the money saved where it is needed most–in early intervention to tackle poor maths and English skills.”

As one who has been involved in education for 51 years, I can only say, amen, to the comment by David Laws. Money invested in good teachers is worth a thousand times more than money invested to discover if students have learned what test makers insist they should learn.

British Testing Fiasco-Anyone Want To Grade Them?

The United Stats and the United Kingdom love giving tests to children because of their undying belief in the power of pen and paper to reveal evidence of intelligence. There are 40,000 English teachers in secondary schools in the United Kingdom and all they have to do is grade the GCSE test taken by 600,000 students, A levels taken by 250,000, AS levels taken by 250,000 and national curriculum tests for 14 year-olds taken by 500,000. Each test involves at least two papers which leaves the 40,000 teachers with an incredible reading and grading task. Added to the already onerous situation, the American ETS company has entered the arena with its infamous SAT exam that is known to all American teenagers.

It now appears that hundreds, if not thousands of tests are being returned without any proper grading evident on the part of readers. The head of Harrison primary school in Fareham, Hampshire, says 26 of his students had their science results incorrectly recorded as not present for the exam. Other schools are also reporting similar incidents of incorrect or poorly graded exams. Many teachers in Great Britain are not impressed with the American SAT exam which they do not believe is an accurate indicator of ability.

A society that lives by the test must suffer by the test. Perhaps, it is time to return to regarding teachers as professionals.