Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 I gave a talk yesterday on why, in my view, the accountability system now in place in schools is dysfunctional, counterproductive, based on highly questionable assumptions about what motivates teachers and frequently damaging to pupils’ long-term interests. The link is here:  Apologies, as ever, for some slight glitches in the text. I also should have put up, a while back, a link to a pamphlet I worked  on about assessment in the early months of this year. “Assessment in schools. Fit for purpose?” is a commentary on the assessment system of which I was one of the authors with the Assessment ReformRead More →

Thursday, September 17th Well, not one but two stories today taking issue at statistics-driven schooling. Here is one in the Daily Telegraph, reporting on a document from the AQA exam board setting out the malign impact of league tables on the teaching experience for pupils: And another one, also from the Telegraph but reported elsewhere, too: This sees Mick Waters, former head of curriculum at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, criticising the effects of test-driven schooling in primary schools.Read More →

Monday, September 7th Anyone who wants to investigate whether the at-face-value impressive rise in national curriculum test and GCSE results over the past 20 years is genuine is always on the look-out for alternative measures of education standards. In other words, while the official data might point to seemingly staggering improvements, there could be other explanations than that children are simply becoming better educated, not least in the phenomenon of teaching to the test, whereby instruction becomes very focused on a particular exam. If the gains suggested by the improvements in official results are truly useful to the pupil, they should be capable of being measured through other tests. A study which hasRead More →