Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ghastly negativity

All the above clippings are from the Metro newspaper during the last three days. In the week where thousands of teenagers will get their A-levels, the media has decided to crank up the dial on the negativity scale.

Every year the cycle is exactly the same. Before A-level results come out, everyone (I mean ‘professionals’ of some sort) discusses whether they have been ‘dumbed down’. Then the results come out, and some people do well, but their achievement is instantly rubbished because the exams are deemed ‘too easy’.

But the headline that ‘even monkeys can get A-levels’ suggests that if you don’t do well, and come out adorned with a string of As, you must be an absolute retard. Not even as intelligent as a monkey. Bubbles looks down at you and laughs, while intelligently spending Michael Jackson’s money.

What I find most offensive is that some of these people who claim that the exams are too easy have never actually sat one. They don’t know what it’s like, having to start college and have an exam looming in under four months. How about the constant fiddling with the grade boundaries? You thought you got a C? Oh no you didn’t, they moved the grade boundaries yet again and now you are stuck with a D. And as for the mark scheme, did you know that your answer could be technically right, but it’s not on the (I won’t swear) mark scheme, therefore, unfortunately it’s wrong.

If A-levels are so easy, why not just get rid of them? You can’t call them easy and not come up with another alternative, it isn’t fair to the thousands of teens who worked hard and done well (and also to those who didn’t). I’m sick to death of news reports that constantly kick the youth in the guts.

I’ve seen politicians talking about this, why are they allowed to have a say anyway? Most of them can’t even do basic maths (one word: expenses), some can’t articulate a coherent sentence, and they spend all day arguing like small children and get paid for it… now that’s what I call easy.

If you have nothing positive to say, then say nothing at all. Silence is golden in this case. It’s two a.m. (GMT), I’m off to bed, I’m tired of fretting. It doesn’t matter anyway, as I probably will not get into university this year…

P.S: Vinspired’s Voicebox aims to shed some positive light on the youth. Check out their website here, and fill out their surveys and comment on their blog posts, to give a REAL picture of the youth today.


JustAnotherLondonGirl said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

As a mature student studying with a class full of people 20 years younger than me, all of whom have passed A levels, I can promise you that A levels are not what they once were.

Urban Articulations said...

But that isn't the fault of the student, it's the fault of the government.

Thanks for reading.

Donald said...

As I have said in the Guardian and I will say here, the point is what you can do with your GCSE's, not whether or not they have been marked according to a bell curve or whether aliens have come out of a spacecraft to mark them.

In answer to your other proposition, yes I have done examinations and plenty of them, including one Honours Accounting degree, One Open University Diploma in Law and various other Open University courses. I do a course every year with the Open University and in addition to that assist NVQ students with some voluntary private tutoring at the moment.

Some of us are genuinely involved in trying to drive up and maintain standards and are very concerned at the dilution of standards which are heavily disguised as progress. What's going on in the educational world at the moment can hardly be described as progress.

By the way, thanks for creating your blog; you will find me on Donald's HEFCE blogspot and other sites as well. Cheers.

Urban Articulations said...

"..or whether aliens have come out of a spacecraft to mark them."

That made me laugh.

If you're trying to improve standards, fair enough. What I'm saying is that today, thousands of teens done well in their GCSEs. Look at the amount of filthy, negative comments on The Guardian website and tell me that is useful or productive.

I'll check out your blog.

Thanks for reading.

Donald said...

As someone who teaches, I would not attempt to go down the road of cricising the kids, in any way, shape or form. I would not be much of a teacher if I did. No the question is, if the system needs tweaking then its people like me who designed it in the first place and we must take the responsibility. In that way, the sins of the fathers must not be visited on the children.

My blogspot is: