Grading study is wide of the mark

25th July 2003 at 01:00
It may be that "Teachers believe that exam standards have fallen in recent years" (TES, June 27). But the perceptions of the small MORI sample of 37 teachers do not match the facts if they believe that most teachers underestimate, and are shocked by, the examination grades their candidates get.

Our research in five GCSE subjects analysed almost a quarter of a million estimated grades provided by more than 2,000 teachers and showed that teachers make grade estimates that are higher than those actually awarded.

This finding replicates at least 10 previous research studies, from the Sixites to the present day.

While the MORI study sample was perfectly respectable for a qualitative investigation of its kind, it can't be used as evidence to suggest a national trend.

Jo-Anne Baird and Debra Dhillon Research and statistics group Assessment and Qualifications Alliance Stag Hill House Guildford, Surrey

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