DfEE's test figures miss the target

23rd February 2001 at 00:00
Mike Kent hits the spot again with his column on the DfEE's preoccupation with dubious statistics (Friday, February 9).

The whole premise of target-setting to improve key stage 2 Sats results is based on the assumption that no child moves in or out of a school, and no child out of the 75 per cent or so likely to achieve level 4 or above is absent during Sats week.

In the real world, of course, this is just what does happen, and improvement targets are wiped out at a stroke through no fault of he school.

The fact that this is patently unfair is one thing; the fact that truth is lost within these unsound numbers is quite another. For, in these circumstances, the figures should only purport to reflect the results of those children present on a day in May. To claim value added through trends is to give meaning to numbers that does not stand up to reasoned argument.

But when was truth ever allowed to get in the way of political expediency?

Roy Cook, roycook50@hotmail.com

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