Standards are not that simple

22nd July 2005 at 01:00
Paul Newton's work on the definition of exam standards (TES, July 8) is seductive but naive. He claims that there would be greater clarity if a single, all-purpose technical definition could be found to underpin exam standards from year to year.

It is precisely because educational standards mean different things to different people that they are such fertile grounds for debate. To hide behind a single chosen statistical technique and rule any challenges to it out of court by definition is simply to take bureaucratic refuge from educational complexity.

Instead, we award grades in a way which reflects the complex nature of standards. But we also need to be accountable and willing to explain our standards.

To this end, AQA's results this summer will be accompanied by a booklet which explains exactly what evidence we use, and how we use it, to set the standards which give all AQA's candidates the grades which they deserve.

Mike Cresswell Director general Assessment and Qualifications Alliance Stag Hill House Guildford, Surrey

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


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