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Sunday, 02 September 2012


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What does it all mean anyway?

You known, it is a very strange world where we use the same scoring system to measure very different things. Is a GCSE B grade student in Maths as good in Maths as a B grade student in Art is in Art? Could someone convincingly show that a certain set of sums have a genuine equivalence with a certain painting or piece of pottery?

I agree, Alastair, that it is meaningless to suggest that a grade B in one subject is directly comparable to a grade B in a different subject. Yet the UCAS tariff system of A-level 'points' depends on this assumption.

But it gets even worse. Not only is it impossible to compare a grade B in one subject with a grade B in a different subject. As Michael Gove admitted in parliament today, you can't even meaningfully compare a grade C in English obtained in January 2012 with a grade C in the same subject obtained in June 2012!

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