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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:03 am 
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Location: Bucks
There are some reports from the Grammar Schools Heads Association annual conference at:
http://gsha1.web.officelive.com/sitemap.aspx
including an address from the new Schools Minister, and some helpful suggestions for "Shaping England's Education" (via 14+).

They also have some figures showing again that Grammar Schools underperform in VIth form value added, p5 & p4:
http://gsha1.web.officelive.com/Documen ... 202010.pdf
Added to this, the average gain up to GCSE is well under one grade in one subject. "This I feel is just another stick to beat us with": and quite right too. These schools exist to add value for students of high ability, yes? But don't worry - they're undertaking research to challenge the methdology (which I think may backfire!), and are also investigating "the effectiveness of the range of entrance tests available to grammar schools".


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:14 am 
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Quote:
they're undertaking research to challenge the methdology (which I think may backfire!), and are also investigating "the effectiveness of the range of entrance tests available to grammar schools".


I have read this and other studies on CVA methodology I think they have a quite compelling case that CVA is not fit for purpose when it comes to narrow ability range with high ability pupils.

CVA is geared towards wide ability range comprehensives and on several levels penalises GS.

I do think that the effectiveness of tests is interesting - I have a feeling many more schools will be considering alternatives to Nfer/GL in future.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:43 am 
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The Sutton Trust recently concluded that Contextual Value Added "could be regarded as a triumph since the measure is designed to eliminate background effects."

Do you think the entrance tests are fit for purpose? If they aren't, this might hit the A-level performance (as represented by CVA).


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:06 am 
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I am in TOTAL agreement with that Grammars add Little to no value at 6th form. I am not too keen on government statistics but I have looked and studied a number of grammar school results and reports especially superselectives and compare it to the calibre they take at 11+ and I am convienced they add no value.

Quote:
The score range from 1029.3 (well done to Gravesend Grammar School!) to 925.7. Only 40 grammar schools have CVAs of over 1000 and 83 grammar schools (over half) are in the bottom 25% of schools and colleges nationally.


This may just be another govt measure but they are just saying what some of us already know. :roll:

And also what the obession with this

Quote:
Grammar School students are entered for a higher volume of subjects.


Most schools are entering kids for 15 GCSES and really whats the point of this quantity obession? Infact this actually works in favour of some schools on league tables. It certainly has for my local grammar who are on the top of all secondary schools for GCSE simply because they enter their students for stupid number of GCSE thereby inflating the point score per students and rocking the league tables. The kids start doing GCSE from Y9. When you actually look at the individual subjects its a differenet scenerio, they are just mediocre to say the least. Quality is way better than quantity and I know some hools where students are doing 6 A levels. Whats the point? Just some obsession with quantity (and perhaps they want to remain at the top of league tables) me thinks. :roll:

Of all the government measures the one I am taking a bit more notice of now is CVA. League tables are so screwed and mean very little but at least CVA shows if the school is adding an value.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:28 am 
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pippi wrote:
Added to this, the average gain up to GCSE is well under one grade in one subject.


Can you point to the source of that particular statement? I couldn't find it in the links you've given.

As far as 6th form CVA is concerned, I think the telling phrase is:

Quote:
Other factors will need to be explored in future meetings including the justification for weighting by an institutions prior performance.


Oh dearie me! Talk about fixing the results...

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:25 pm 
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Why the surprise? The more selective the school, the harder it is to add value or grades.

For example, if a school's pupils average 11 A/A* at GCSE, how much better can they do at A level?

Similarly, it's easier for the child getting 40% in their mocks to improve than for the child getting 98%.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:37 pm 
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zee wrote:
Why the surprise? The more selective the school, the harder it is to add value or grades.

For example, if a school's pupils average 11 A/A* at GCSE, how much better can they do at A level?

Similarly, it's easier for the child getting 40% in their mocks to improve than for the child getting 98%.


Exactly - when you are taking the cream of the crop, you can only improve so much! When you have kids who in primary school have no direction, no support, no desire to learn......and the school then improves on these factors - then there is Value Added galore where they are successful in this.

You will find that grammar schools don't really measure their value added score against ALL schools, but against other grammar schools. Pleased to say that our grammar got the highest value added in the country last year for all grammar schools :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Oh, there's much more to it than that.

That "weighting for prior performance" means that if a school stuffs up your child's GCSEs, it doesn't just get to count the actual value added in terms of their A-level results, it gets a bonus for having stuffed up their GCSEs.

Or looking at it the other way round, a penalty is applied for achieving good GCSE results.

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:54 pm 
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mike1880 wrote:
Can you point to the source of that particular statement? I couldn't find it in the links you've given.
"1006 means that on average each of the school's pupils achieved the equivalent of one GCSE grade higher in one subject than the average attained by similar pupils": http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/performancetables/schools_06/s4.shtml
1003 is the average for a grammar school, eg: http://www.suttontrust.com/reports/Worlds_apart.pdf
mike1880 wrote:
As far as 6th form CVA is concerned, I think the telling phrase is
Quote:
Other factors will need to be explored in future meetings including the justification for weighting by an institutions prior performance
.
Depends a bit on how big the "weighting" is surely?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:32 am 
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Not really, it's difficult to see that there's any justification in purely statistical terms for applying any weighting to KS5 CVA based on performance in KS4. The effect, after all, is simply to make the results of poorly performing schools look better than they actually are. The question is: why would you want to do that?

Mike


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