Fuddy-duddy fights back;Letter

10th September 1999 at 01:00
SO LONG as GCSE results confound commonsense and the law of averages by continuing their seemingly inexorable spiral upwards, and so long as the exam boards reassure us that standards are not falling, then silly, fuddy-duddies like me are going to continue writing vexed letters to The TES dismissing it as a sham.

I am not an expert, but I do possess some experience of GCEGCSE English which tells me, emphatically, that a sizeable proportion of candidates who obtained grade C in English this summer would have been struggling to gain a basic understanding of the sort of reading extracts the candidate of 20 years ago had to negotiate. The standards simply do not compare.

By all means let's acknowledge that the exams have changed; but let us not pretend that claims to have preserved a standard are any other than absurd. It is a scandalous attempt to disguise the grade inflation resulting from the competitive market ethos and the increasing imperative to satisfy fashionable obsessions of the politicians.

John Steadman

4 Garrigill


Washington, Tyne and Wear

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