Friday, May 17, 2013

The proposed change in GCSE grades

Ministers just can't help themselves can they? They talk about a radical overhaul of the GCSE grading system and all they mean is converting 2 or 3 levels of grade into 4. What a pointless exercise in futility.

They can't even work it out for themselves:

so that rather than having A*, A and B, you achieve 1, 2, 3, 4, and it might be the case that 1, 2, 3, 4 cover the band of achievement that is currently A* and A. 
So a 4 grade is a B wait no a 4 is an A-? Which makes a B a... B? The idea seems to be that greater differentiation at the top will allow better comparability between the 'high achievers' and between different exams. No it won't. It's simply adding two more grades into the system.

At the moment there's no way to tell the difference between a high A (missing out on an A*) and a low A (just beat a B). With this proposed system they'll be no way to tell the difference between a high 3 (just missed out on a 2) and a low 3 (just beat a 4). Perhaps we need some extra grading between those make it 1-6 instead of 1-4; and then 1-10 and then...

Or perhaps we could just abolish this entire notion of single grades and do something that would accurately reflect a person's score such as mark their position for that year. Much easier to say that Person A beat 94.65% of that year and person B beat 94.35% rather than just giving them both Grade 1's

It would even allow weighting for comparability with other years. Given the amount of statistics MPs have to look at and like to quote this approach should have been fairly obvious, but then again they only look at the statistics - they don't compile them or really need to understand them.