A mammoth of a critique

10th November 2006 at 00:00
Jack Ferguson Greenfaulds High North Lanarkshire

If admitting that there are "concerns about the level of support on redrafting" and that there is "legitimate debate about the articulation between Standard grade and National Qualifications"

constitutes Larry Flanagan's rebuttal of my critique of Standard grade English assessment (TESS, November 3), then I have obviously been accurate in my analysis.

All the teachers of English who spoke to me agreed with my view. The only criticism was from a PT English who complained I was merely stating the obvious, and it was, to use a popular cliche, the "elephant in the room" of Scottish education. Nobody, apart from Mr Flanagan, has accused me of being "snide".

The main thrust of my article was that changing social pressures since the inception of Standard grade have rendered the current assessment methods obsolete. The same pressures operate in a similar way in England, hence the Education Secretary Alan Johnson's announcement of the abolition of GCSE coursework.

I think a change in the method of assessment would help raise the level of pupils' English and also the way it is taught at this level. It would encourage a move away from the flawed "redrafting" philosophy to a more widespread acceptance of North Lanarkshire's excellent "Write First Time"

approach.

I'm not "cynical", just realistic and perceptive.

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