Month: November 2013

The adverb problem

In a previous blog I looked at how hard it is to set exams based on criteria. I quoted Tim Oates: The first issue is the slippery nature of standards. Even a well-crafted statement of what you need to get an A grade can be loaded with subjectivity – even in subjects such as science. It’s… Read more »

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GLA London Schools Atlas

A couple of weeks ago the Greater London Authority published a fascinating resource for anyone interested in London schools. It’s the GLA London Schools Atlas. The GLA have overlaid a map of London with tons of data about all the state schools in London. You can see all the schools in London and click on each… Read more »

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Doris Lessing

I was very sad to hear today that Doris Lessing had died. Doris Lessing has been my favourite author since I first read Mara and Dann when I was 15. I think The Golden Notebook is probably my favourite, but I am also very keen on the Children of Violence series, The Grass is Singing… Read more »

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Exams and Goodhart’s Law

I blogged recently about the difficulty of finding the right assessment system. Afterwards, in a throwaway remark on twitter, I said that finding the right assessment format was a bit like finding the right system for exchange rates – fiendishly difficult because you want one system to serve a multitude of purposes. There are other… Read more »

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Chemistry curriculum comparison

In my presentation at the ARK Summit on Monday I compared the English 2007 National Curriculum in Chemistry to grade 7 (that’s year 8) of E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Curriculum. Chemistry content in KS4 Science National Curriculum (years 10 & 11)  (Link here, p. 224) Chemistry content in Grade 7 Core Knowledge Curriculum (year 8… Read more »

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Norm-referencing and criterion-referencing

This is an excellent article by Tim Oates which looks at the different ways of awarding grades in national exams. In particular, it looks at norm-referencing and criterion-referencing. As Tim Oates notes, there seems something intrinsically unfair about norm-referencing, which is where you allocate a fixed percentage of grades each year. Each year, the top… Read more »

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