A long time ago (in prehistoric days so our children tell us), SMS was told at school that a fair comparison involved apples on both sides of an equation, rather than apples and pears, or apples and avocados (both of which were employed by the non-consultation document).
However, there is another issue (for which I’ll struggle to find a fruity analogy sadly – any suggestions very welcome via a comment). The problem is of grade inflation over the years.
Without wishing to denigrate the efforts of all those hardworking GCSE candidates out there (especially ones sometime known by initials only and you know who you are) grades mean different things in different years.
Generally, Government pressure means that every year more candidates get higher grades than before, as was evidenced yesterday.
Add to this that the Government changes how it assesses “success” at GCSE every so often, and it becomes very difficult to decide whether the current crop of pupils have done brilliantly and better than previous generations, or whether the exams or marking schemes just got easier. And every August, journalists take one side or another – Boris Johnson wrote a very clever piece on this last Sunday.
Educational statisticians know that it is nigh on impossible to compare different cohorts of pupils – yet this is what our local bureaucrats have tried to do with their comparisons of KS1 and KS4 statistics – and make very strong conclusions that three-tier is to blame.
What nonsense. They must think the voting public is stupid. Well soon we will find out what voters really think.