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New scoring system for GCSEs?

(10 Posts)
RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 16-May-13 07:59:13

The Graun today is reporting that Gove is considering introducing (or going back to ) numbers rather than letters to denote GCSE attainment, with possibley a greater degree of differentiation within previous grade bands. www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/may/15/michael-gove-scrap-gcse-plan

As always, nothing is new under the sun, for a period in the 70s and maybe earlier O levels were given numbers rather than grades and there were two numbers for each letter (ie 1 and 2 became A, 3 and 4 B etc).

That having said, for once I'm not automatically massively opposed to Gove's suggestion - if he is changing the goal posts so dramatically but not changing the exam name, then it seems sensible to have a completely different scoring scheme - so that it's obvious in the future that the exams were treated differently.

poppydoppy Thu 16-May-13 09:44:44

Another trigger response from Grove. Why do the grades have to be banded why cant the children just get a % score? That way Unis could clearly see who the high achievers are.

PamTeesBestee Thu 16-May-13 09:55:47

Going by 2012's stats 90% of DCs at our selective got A and A* in maths. English was similar. A scoring system that allows university admissions panels and employers to differentiate between these 100+ kids got to be a good thing ... for these kids.

Elsewhere on MN there is a thread about whether Grade F is worth anything. I don't know what a F will translate into under the new proposal but I'm guessing that it will be in double digits. If parents think that Grades A to C snobbery is bad, imagine what it wil be like under the new proposal.

meditrina Thu 16-May-13 10:02:39

Changing the names of the grades strikes me as a good thing as it makes it unmistakeable clear what type of exam regime was in place when those grades were achieved.

The change from O levels getting numerical grades to alphabetic ones took place in 1970s, just after my DSis took hers and before I did.

notfluffy Thu 16-May-13 12:23:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

guineapiglet Thu 16-May-13 12:57:31

Quite honestly I wish Gove would take a hike. He has had quite a week with his backing of coming out of the EU and is quite clearly undermining DC - who I don't like either - The new proposed scoring system it is not a new idea, and adds further initiative stress on staff and students alike - leave it alone - ! Work on improving the current system, Universities are sick of constant initiatives and changes.

My son will be one of those affected by the new changes, and I worry about the end bit of the report which says that kids taking exams in the first couple of years will not do as well because of the 'newness of the system to examination boards and markers' ..... great.

More worrying is another brewing fiasco regarding different exam boards and grading as per last year's English GSCE fiasco, that's the bit which is not fit for purpose and needs a proper overhaul with the input of edcuationalists and those experts we ask for advice and then ignore.
Who voted for Gove?

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 16-May-13 13:05:58

guineapiglet My DS will be affected too. That's why I'm dead keen for the exams to be called something different and marked using a totally different scheme. So that, ten years down the line, once he is competing with people who aren't exactly the same age as him (as he will be until he leaves uni) it is quite clear who obtained their marks under the old system, where they weren't purposely trying to deflate the grades awarded, and who obtained their marks under the new 'you'll be lucky if you get anything' system. sad The people I am most sorry for though are this year's cohort (which includes DD1) who rumour has it (but of course nobody knows for sure) will be subjected to politically deflated marks, but using the same grading system as all the kids who have done exams in the last 5 years, so kids whose performance would have got one mark in any of the preceding few years may end up with a substantially lower mark this time round - with nothing obvious to demonstrate that it was 'new paradigm' time. It's incredibly depressing. Those kids have worked so hard and they are being used as political footballs.

guineapiglet Thu 16-May-13 20:43:27

Yes russians you are right, incredibly depressing - my daughter is currently doing AS right in the middle of Mr Gove's changes, and will not have any modular components next Jan - nothing after next week until next June, just like the old system. I wonder if Universities will be taking this into consideration, as this is not the system the kids signed up for next year, and they will be the guineapigs for the brave new A Level world. I hear what you say about complete change, rebranding, relaunching etc, so that our kids will be doing a completely new 'beast' in terms of exams. In reality tho' most Unis and employers will probably not be impressed by 'newness' - and won't give the kids any rope if there are the usual marking cockups which are now a feature after every bout of marking over the summer - its the exam boards and marking systems which need consolidation, not the examination per se.

guineapiglet Thu 16-May-13 20:44:06

* signed up for last year, sorry !

OneMoreMum Fri 17-May-13 10:15:01

Just to say Guinea I do think colleges / unis will take into account the changes. I was looking at sixth form entry requirements of our local schools and noticed in one the minimum GCSE grades for some subjects (I think science but can't quite remember) were A's for modular courses and B's for linear, so they are clearly expecting kids with the same ability to get lower grades in linear qualifications.
Of course no-one will remember that in years to come, but then GCSE grades become less important to employers once you've moved on to A levels, college and uni courses, which the new generation will all have to do because of the new leaving age changes.

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