Illusory gains and deep flaws

20th May 2005 at 01:00
The truth about Sats is emerging at last. A few weeks ago the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority predicted their demise "within 10 years".

Now its head of statistics admits increases in test scores have been exaggerated ("QCA admits to 'illusory' primary test improvements", TES, May 6).

This may surprise David Miliband, with whom I clashed last year when he was schools minister. At that time he claimed a staggering rise in standards.

This has proved illusory.

The case against these crude, time-consuming, distorting tests grows stronger every day. There is hardly a teacher or academic in the UK who doesn't see them as deeply flawed.

The lesson of the general election is that the Government needs to listen.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of Sats.

Alan Gibbons

Co-ordinator

Authors Against the Sats

Liverpool

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