Marked flaws

10th August 2001 at 01:00
George Tustin ("Exam insecurity", TES, July 13) hits the mark exactly when contrasts between the fuss made over a head tampering with papers and the calm acceptance of the bizarre fact that hundreds - or is it thousands? - of teachers who mark test papers have full knowledge of their content up to ten days before pupils take the exam.

This is only one reason why the national key stage tests should be regarded as an expensive folly, another one is the problem of standardization [of marking] highlighted in Julie Henry's item "English tests fall wide of the marking" in the same issue.

As an English marker I am clear that this exam is flawed as a guide to individual and school performance and totally lacking in credibility as a scientific measure of national standards.

I dislike asking to be anonymous but need the illicit earnings.

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