These are testing times

22nd February 2013 at 00:00

So Michael Gove and his allies (Pozzi et al, in this case) have now turned their attention from GCSE to national curriculum assessment. Oh, apologies, I meant national testing, of course; specifically, testing of mathematics. The message appears to be: scores are getting better but there is a long tail in pupil achievement. Suggestion: reduce the pressures on teachers and schools to teach to and be judged on results from "high stakes" tests and allow those same teachers to focus on pupils' different paces and styles of learning mathematics - and assess and support pupil progress accordingly. Wasn't there something about that in the original national curriculum assessment legislation, before arrogant politicians started to meddle for their own ends?

Bill Boyle, School of Education, University of Manchester.

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