Category: Assessment

In defence of norm-referencing

A couple of weeks ago Ofqual published their consultation on new GCSE grades. A lot of the media debate has focussed on the new 1-9 grading structure, but tucked away in the consultation document there is a lot of very interesting information about how examiners make judgments. I’ve written before on this blog about the… Read more »

Read more

Why national curriculum levels need replacing

One of the main reasons why people say we need to keep national curriculum levels is because they provide a common language. I am all in favour of a common language, but levels did not provide this, as I have argued before here. Since I wrote that last post, I have come across this fascinating… Read more »

Read more

Replacing national curriculum levels

Life beyond levels? Life after levels? Life without levels?  Lots of teachers, senior leaders and academics have come up with some interesting ideas for what should replace national curriculum levels. Here’s a summary of some of those ideas. Michael Fordham is a former history teacher and now works at Cambridge’s education department. He has written… Read more »

Read more

Why teaching to the test is so bad

This is part three of my summary of Daniel Koretz’s book Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us. Part one, How useful are tests?, is here and part two, Validity and reliability, is here. In my last post I spoke about how tests are only ever a proxy for what we want to measure.… Read more »

Read more

Validity and reliability

This is part two of my summary of Daniel Koretz’s book Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us. Part one, How useful are tests?, is here. Part three, Why teaching to the test is so bad, is here. Validity and reliability Koretz gives the clearest and fullest explanations I’ve read of what reliability and… Read more »

Read more

A-level maths and earning potential

This week, the Institute of Physics have published a report on gender imbalances in certain subjects. They look at 6 A-level subjects: the typically ‘male’ ones of maths, physics and economics, and the typically ‘female’ ones of English, biology and psychology. In all six cases there are gender imbalances. The fact that girls are less… Read more »

Read more

How useful are tests?

This is part one of my review of Daniel Koretz’s Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us. Part two, Validity and reliability, is here. Part three, Why teaching to the test is so bad, is here. I’ve recently finished reading an excellent book about assessment by Daniel Koretz, a professor of education at Harvard… Read more »

Read more

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 »

Read more