Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Back to Basics for Teachers

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Back to Basics for Teachers

Article excerpt

SATS have no educational validity. They are merely the currency by which the Government hopes to demonstrate how well its mind-factories are performing only now the game is up because productivity is taking a dive.

The irony of the world's largest private testing corporation screwing up the very mechanism by which governments have sought to motivate market forces in English schools is sweet indeed.

Civitas is absolutely right to claim most secondary teachers totally distrust new Year 7s' Key Stage 2 grades. Not that we blame our primary colleagues: we know primary schools are like circuses which spend mind-numbing hours getting dogs to jump through hoops.

And Nick Cohen is right that we are in this mess because governments since 1979 have refused to trust the professionals.

How many parents are aware that since 2003 it is not obligatory for schools to even employ qualified teachers in teaching posts? It is an insult to teachers to claim we would become unaccountable without

Sats: there are a host of ways parents can be shown progress data of infinitely greater value, through "formative" rather than "summative" assessment, which goes beyond crude grades to build assessment into the learning process, often through oral means and peer marking. Plenty of research attests to the effectiveness of such processes.

On a broader level government now has to realise kids are not commodities, for which it is possible to speed up the production line while cutting production costs. …

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