Sunday, December 04, 2005

High stakes testing... in England

Seems our friends across the pond are struggling with the implications and consequences of high-stakes testing, too. The results of the national exam in England were recently published leading to near-universal condemnation of the practice from teachers.

A sample from the article on the BBC website:

The head of the General Teaching Council, Carol Adams, said: "We know from our discussions with parents and from research that many parents feel that league tables are irrelevant in helping them judge how well the school is meeting the needs of their child.

"Yet the high stakes of testing and league tables mean that it is difficult for teachers to take a rounded approach to learning."

She called for "a radical overhaul" of the current assessment regime.

The Teacher Support Network charity said 70% of primary school teachers who responded to a survey it conducted said league tables had a negative effect on their wellbeing.

Nine per cent said they had a positive impact, however, by giving them goals to work towards.

A spokesman for the Department for Education and Skills said they would stay.


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