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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:14 am 
It seems that in Kent 11-plus may be scrapped in favour of continuous assessment.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... even04.xml

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:01 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Richmond
Read about this yeaterday in the Times - seems like a crazy idea - more unintended consequences liklely to ensue. can you imagine the number of appeals - how can they be objective?
One of the head-teachers says it will be a good thing, to stamp out coaching - surely a better way to limit the impact of coaching would be to have different format every year? if the format is unknown, the child will have to use their own resources on the day to understand and answer the questions? Then is as level a playing field as you could achieve?

Best Regards,

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:07 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Finchley - Barnet
I have no personal interest in this as my child has already taken his grammar exams and we are located in North London.

Alsways beware of continous assessment: fuzziness will ensue and also this will monitor to a a large extent the amount of work parents put in their children's homework [the infamous WDM (Well Done Mum!) effect].

More people will be pushed into preferring independent selective schools (even if they can hardly afford them) if they feel that grammar schools are not any longer genuinely selective in the sense of using an entry exam.

Changing the format is another potentially disastrous idea, as different formats will favour differently talented pupils. (eg. my child is talented in VR, but this year's exam was more NNR focused! Hence, we have be unfairly treated.) Can you imagine the number of appeals on this basis??



 Post subject: Scrapping Eleven Plus
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:53 pm
Posts: 139
Location: wolverhampton
I can see the arguments for scrapping selection based on one exam.

After all, under the current system:

- Some children only get through because they have had private tutoring for 2-3 years

- Children in private schools are coached in the exam techniques required to pass the eleven plus. State schools are not allowed/encouraged to do this

So bright children from poor families have far less chance of getting a grammar school place (unless their parents find their way to a site like this - however even then they have to find the funds to purchase materials)

And a child who panics on the day of the exam or is just feeling a bit under the weather may have blown their chance of a grammar school place despite an impressive school record. In counties where they still retain the grammar school system (like Bucks) this type of child would get through on appeal but for schools like Watford Grammar where they take the top X pupils in the exam appeals are rarely granted.

Also, under the current system there is nothing to stop an older brother or sister taking an exam for a younger sibling (only one school we applied to asked for a photograph with our application).

Most primary schools test their students at the end of each year. Perhaps a report of year on year progress in these tests combined with an exam would be a fairer way to select pupils.


 Post subject: Selective tests
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:41 pm 
I have lived in three countries and have had the benefit of seeing three different educational systems. I thought I could add some thoughts here.

I have seen a lot of crticism about cramming for selective tests and why selection based on a single test is unfair to students from county schools or children from lesser economic backgrounds. All of us want to live in a fair society that provides equal opportunities for all. But there is only a certain extent that the fairness can be can ensured in reality. For example, there are pupils who get a lot of attention and support from their parents who are well educated while there are others who are not so fortunate. Under any assessment method, the child with greater support from parents is likely to benefit. So are we then going introduce measures to alleviate the disadvantage based on parental background? The list can be endless...

The fairest game is not one where you twist the testing methods to suit a cetain category of "underprivileged"ness. The fairest game is probably one where you make the rules clear and extremely objective. You provide additional support for those who are underprivileged and help them compete rather than tweak the competition itself. A continuous assessment scheme is highly subjective. What happens if for some reason your child's teacher did not like her hairstyle? A selective examination with well defined rules and exam content is the most objective route. If the concern is one of - what if the child is unwell on that one day etc - we could have two or three testing sessions, similar to US SAT, GRE etc.

I read in one of the forum threads that Asian students perform the best. Having spent some time Asia, I know Asian parents prepare their children for the competiton rather trying avoid the competition.

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