Testing questions;Letter

8th October 1999 at 01:00
LIKE Barrie Day I was amazed by Dr Nicholas Tate's claim that all the curriculum testing regime requires are "further improvements to ensure an even higher quality of marking".

We also sent back many of our Year 9 English papers. The results we have now received bear no relation to the originals. In the class I taught, for example, 14 out of 26 pupils were given a higher level and five went up by two levels. We now have to explain to these pupils and their parents how a system, which is so important that the results can dramatically affect a school's reputation, got it so wrong.

Two questions remain. How many schools have been given unreliable results? And which of our results will appear in the league tables? The testing regime in English is characterised by careless or incompetent marking, inadequate checking and management systems and complacent leadership. Perhaps some "special measures" are needed?

Celia Gaskin

Moseley, Birmingham

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