Flaws persist in tests for Year 3;Letter

19th March 1999 at 00:00
I HAVE just received a copy of the Qualification and Curriculum Authority's guidelines, Making use of optional tests, and I find that my worst fears about the quality of the tests, and of the whole testing process, are confirmed.

In the section on the Year 3 mathematics test, it states that "In question 3 ... even higher-attaining children such as Michelle .... failed to recognise that the size of the rectangle needed to be different rather than just the orientation." This, despite the fact that the question merely asked for two different rectangles. Surely Michelle would have every justification in claiming that she had drawn two different rectangles and that, if they wanted two of different sizes, they should have said so? The question appears to have been set to catch out seven-year-old children, rather than to find out what they know.

In fact, on looking at Michelle's actual answer (which is reproduced in the document) it becomes apparent that she has drawn two rectangles which are not only different in orientation but also in size. One is five squares by two squares and the other four squares by two! Thus, the flawed question has been accompanied by flawed marking, and the error compounded by including it in the authority's flawed advice to teachers.

What hope have we for the future when the success, or otherwise, of pupils and schools is measured in such a chaotic fashion?

Ben Holdsworth

St Mary's RC primary school Glenure Road Eltham, London SE9

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now