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Is cheating ripe in 11plus exams in Warwickshire?
Yes 69%  69%  [ 9 ]
No 31%  31%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 13
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:31 pm
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Article in the Telegraph worth a review regarding Warwickshire schools:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... edu215.xml

"Grammar schools were embroiled in a row over cheating last night amid claims that children are being coached through the 11-plus.

Scores of parents have lodged complaints after it emerged that record numbers of pupils in Warwickshire had gained 100 per cent in entrance tests.

It is claimed copies of 11-plus papers are being circulated among private tutors, who can improve their reputation by helping pupils into top grammar schools.

The allegations, which are centred around entry to three schools in the county - Alcester Grammar, King Edward VI Grammar for Boys and Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls - come at a time of increasing competition between parents over the best state secondary schools.

In Warwickshire, 950 children sat the 11-plus in October for just 240 places at three grammar schools.

It has emerged that the same eight papers from the education company Moray House have been used in rotation for almost 20 years, and many parents allege they have fallen into the hands of tutors.

Last night Warwickshire county council, which administers the exam for the three schools, said it had investigated the claim and found no "concrete evidence" of cheating. It had scrapped the eight papers for admission next year as a precaution and would be writing a new test, it added."


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:49 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Kent
forumadmin wrote:
Article in the Telegraph worth a review regarding Warwickshire schools:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... edu215.xml"


NO! Don't do this!

Do not help aid and abet a newspaper that wishes to sensationalise a story due to their lack of any other news to report.

These stories having been running for a few years now and I heard a healthy debate recently on the radio with a one of the head poncho's from Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire's education director who headed the discussion. NO matter how many questions were thrown at them they replied with strength and conviction and reiterated on numerous occasions, that if any one held evidence or fact of cheating to please bring it forward, but thus far no hard evidence had come to light. When asking some parents that phoned into the debate with their, 'He said, she said' rubbish, to give names, times and dates, the parents/callers backed downed immediately and admitted to it being only, 'hear say' amongst playground gossip parents.

So, to date, no true evidence has arisen, and the council are placating most and introducing a new set of exams, so as to keep the moaner content.

Playing to the above, takes away the excellence of the children who worked so very hard to achieve such results, let's not fall into the media trap of bruising or diluting their achievement. :)

_________________
Thursdays Girl. :)
One World, One People, US!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:06 am 
Well Said that Girl!!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:57 am 
Cheating 'ripe'. Is this Sir Forumadmin? I like my cheating firm to the touch.

(Sorry couldn't resist it)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
I'm not sure it's correct to say there is no evidence - I would have thought that the statistical evidence alone on the on the skewed standardised scores would suggest there is some anomoly with the Warwickshire 11+ process. May not be cheating but something is not right.

It might be that Warwickshire have asked Moray House to Standardise against a national sample of 11 year old rather than than just the candidate population - this is sometimes done this way which does result in high scores. (I provided details under a previous posting under Kent)

However I don't just think it's reasonable for Warwickshire to sit there and ask for concrete evidence of cheating - no one who has been direct or indirectly involved in that type of process is going to own up to that; I do however think that Warwickshire have an obligation to demonstrate that the process is fair by publishing the results of the test and the standardisation process.

If I was a Warwickshire parent who was concerned about this I would certainly request the details of the scores and standardisation process under the Freedom of Information Act from the Warwickshire LEA. They have to provide this if requested.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:48 pm 
For your information the County Council has already been sent a typescript copy of one of their "live" Moray House test papers. Mark Gore, Director of Education in Warwickshire, has admitted that this is so (Stratford Herald 30/11/06) and yet he still chooses to gloss over this fact when he is questioned about the security of the test.

I have a copy of the 2006 test results. The performance of the children that year is not just excellent it's astounding! The average pass mark was 96.1% - there must be something in the water.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
Hi Iain,

The high results might still be explained by the fact that Moray standardise against a National sample rather than the Warwickshire candidate population.

The following is taken from the NFER web site and shows that they do this in some cases:-

Quote:
Test Standardisation
Two of the main outcome measures of some of the tests that we construct are the ‘national standardised score’ and the related ‘percentile rank’. These normreferenced measures relate the performance of an individual pupil to that of the population of the country as a whole. Tables that give such comparative data are derived from a national standardisation, which usually involves administering the final version of the test, prior to publication, to a large nationally representative sample.


If you are directly impacted by this, then I would contact Warwickshire and find out whether they did their standardisaton against a National sample. If they haven't, then I think the scoring shows a real anomolgy that would be difficult to ignore.

Regards


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:58 am 
I would just like to add to this debate to say that my child passed this years Warwickshire 11+ along with at least 5 or 6 other children I know (from 4 different schools), they all passed with very good scores and NONE of them cheated. Most of them had tutors (above board ones - before you all start shouting at the screen!), some were diy prepared. My childs average score in Secondary Selection Portfolio practice papers was between 93% and 98%. He said that he thought the actual test was of a similar level of difficulty. Maybe it is that the papers are not particularly difficult and that, for the most part, children are tutored (or least prepared at home to some degree - to give them a fair chance, it's that vicious circle thing, everybody else does it so if you want to be in with a chance you have to also) - which would push the pass mark up. Also there is a huge priority circle. Also as KenR quite rightly pointed out in another thread, full marks in the test ie; standardised score of 280, doesn't mean that you've score 100% as a raw score, it means that you have the highest score, there is a difference!

I too am concerned about these allegations and I don't think for one minute that there is smoke without fire, and I'm quite aware that if this is true then some may have slipped through the net, but don't tar all the children with the same brush, there are a large proportion who have done this completely legitimately!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:23 pm 
my son got in last year , untutored, with I think a 95% score. Children within the priority circle are only allowed about 4 hours of preparation in school time. I personally don't know of another child tutored. This is a low pass compared to some, but he tells me he is at the top or middle for most subjects, with a few struggling , who were perhaps tutored?
His friends their are not local, most outside the the priory circle, which tells me that they 'came in' to sit the exam, and possibly tutored to do so. I found no evidence of cheating anywhere


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:59 pm 
Hi Ed,

Did you do any preparing at home? If you did I would be interested to know what material you used and how much time per week and for how long? My son will be taking the exam this year and I would like to know what best to do.

Thank you.


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