Don't build a baseline monolith;Letter

7th May 1999 at 01:00
WE BELIEVE that the best future for baseline assessment lies in diversity and that creating a single monolithic system across England would be a disaster.

At the moment there are 91 accredited baseline schemes. The early indications are that this variety is generating exciting ideas and facilitating the development of networks in which a partnership between schools, local education authorities and universities is flourishing.

A great deal of money and energy have already been spent on creating a rich variety of technically complex systems. The baseline schemes are continually being improved in the light of experience, co-operation and competition. This process can be expected to continue, especially under the anticipated new tighter criteria, which we welcome.

In order to achieve the goal of raised standards through high-quality information, including value-added measures, there needs to be evolving diversity and sensitivity to local circumstances. Single systems would be destructive and most unwelcome.

Margaret Carter, Walsall Metropolitan Council; Maureen Clegg, Cheshire Advisory Service; Martin Desforges, University of Sheffield; Bronwen Ellis, St Clare's RC primary school; David Ford, Durham County Council; Miles Halliwell, NFER-Nelson; Geoff Hazell, Surrey County Council; Geoff Lindsay, University of Warwick; P Lyseight-Jones, Ealing council; Jo Preston, Ealing council; Sheila Sage, Worcestershire County Council; Chris Singleton, University of Hull; Steve Strand, NFER-Nelson; Peter Tymms, University of Durham; Jenny Vickers RedcarCleveland LEA; Anne Waterhouse, Lancashire LEA; Sheila Wolfenden, University of East London.

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