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Sirkku Nikamaa-Linder

CBI: We must drive change through a culture of expectation - 1 views

    • Sirkku Nikamaa-Linder
       
      Less testing!
  • There is a risk that the mistakes of the past – both teaching to the test by schools and micro-management of the school system through the means of exams and league tables – may be repeated in the EBC.
  • nternational evidence from high-performing education systems suggests more formative assessment during schooling would be beneficial
  • ...7 more annotations...
  • But an over-reliance on summative assessment can distort the quality of education by becoming the dominant focus of school activity.
  • Removal of the currently over-specified and repetitive national curriculum from primary schools in favour of clearly defined goals on literacy, numeracy, science and computer science.
  • more stretching
  • judged by Ofsted
  • Move the focus of our exam system to 18 and develop clearly rigorous and stretching standards for both academic and vocational A-levels, with maths and English retained until 18 for both
  • A study
  • should be commissioned to advise on the right balance of timing and the optimal mix between formative and summative assessment
  •  
    " improve teaching and curriculum flexibility to effectively deliver core learning in ways which engage young people"
Sirkku Nikamaa-Linder

CBI: Our education systems are not delivering - while average performance rises gently,... - 0 views

  • Spending on education accelerated still further after 1997, rising in real terms by 71% by 2010-11.
  • UK ranks among the highest spending OECD countries measured in terms of percentage of GDP on education.
  • ...16 more annotations...
  • but we are being outperformed by nations which spend less.
  • the challenge lies not in what we spend, but in what we do.
  • explanation for the conveyor belt comes not from money, therefore, but from other incentives that schools face.
  • Schools have become used to governments setting blanket targets,
  • We should not be surprised that these drive behaviour – but not always the behaviour that the Department for Education wants.
  • The percentage of pupils gaining five ‘good’ A*-C GCSEs has increased by 50% over the last decade.
  • this should be an indicator of great success
  • has been questioned by many commentators.
  • When we look at whether the improvement on the GCSE metric is general or specific to those close to the grade boundary, it is clear that this measure is driving what is happening in schools.
  • intensive targeting of resources on pupils just below the C grade and/or an increase in teachers’ expertise in ‘teaching to the test’ has been behind  improvements.
  • Whatever the explanation, it doesn’t inspire confidence that the rise in exam grades for average ability candidates really reflects an increase across all groups in mastery of the subjects studied.
  • Narrowly-defined targets like these, based only on exam results subtly inhibit the overall education of young people.
    • Sirkku Nikamaa-Linder
       
      This is why Finland only has one national test....
  • If an acceptable level is reached, failure among a substantial minority is tolerated.
  • At earlier stages in the system, similar testing frameworks focus school accountability on achieving a certain percentage of pupils reaching a defined average, rather than a focus on absolute attainment.
  • it is possible to dramatically reduce attainment gaps in their primary school populations and raise standards on a broader basis than the UK has managed.
Sirkku Nikamaa-Linder

CBI: Change is possible - but we must be clearer about what we ask schools to develop i... - 1 views

    • Sirkku Nikamaa-Linder
       
      Question: What are the goals set out on the political level? What does Gove want to achieve?
  • lacks
  • guardrails
  • ...46 more annotations...
  • which makes transformational change
  • ifficult
  • In Finland, the goals of education are explicitly linked to competitiveness, research and innovation.
  • nowhere in the UK do they really drive the terms under which schools are assessed.
  • In England, the government has defined its approach as being based on curriculum rigour.
  • This lack of a comprehensive statement of the achievement we are looking for schools to deliver is a key failing.
  • best schools
  • areas of high disadvantage
  • define the outcome they need
  • in the face of the complex and inconsistent demands the system places on them.
    • Sirkku Nikamaa-Linder
       
      Clear indication that the system as a whole is not supporting a generally accepted set of goals. Instead, the schools are trying to achieve a goal they see as important at worst while fighting the systemic demands.
  • One such school leader told us they had taken a conscious decision with one group of young people to focus on five key subjects and some life skills, knowing that the accountability system would score them down for it, as it expected eight qualifications from all students at that time.
  • Our system should reward schools making brave decisions which focus on boosting long-term outcomes for pupils, not punish them.
  • It should be able to survive changes of government and provide the test against which policy changes and school actions are judged
  • shine the light on whether the system is truly addressing the needs of all students, rather than just the few required to meet a government target.
  • Focus on raising the ambition and attainment for every child as far as their abilities permit
  • guide young people effectively on their choice of enabling subjects…
  • thos and culture that build the social skills also essential to progress in life and work, and allow them time to focus on this
  • Have a school accountability and assessment framework that supports these goals rather than defining them.
  • social literacy
  • a range of core subjects
  • ncluding critically maths, English, the sciences
  • effective use and understanding of computer science.
  • ‘enabling subjects’
  • humanities, languages, arts, technical and practically-based subjects
  • equip a young person to move on
  • o university, or to an apprenticeship or vocational qualification
  • a set of behaviours and attitudes,
  • An exclusive focus on subjects for study would fail to equip young people with these, though rigour in the curriculum does help
  • ‘employability skills’
  • Behaviours can only be developed over time, through the entire path of a young person’s life and their progress through the school system.
  • right context at school
  • A supportive culture, pastoral care and the right ethos are all needed to make the difference.
  • a long tail of pupils failing to achieve the desired outcomes can no longer be accepted.
  • enable all of our young citizens to reach the desired standards.
  • conflicting expectations placed on schools.
  • renewed system should be able to judge performance against the goals based on more complex metrics.
  • judgement
  • on overall culture and ethos, teaching and governance
  • group of data points, including testing but also outcomes data.
  • Development of a clear, widely-owned and stable statement of the outcome that all schools are asked to deliver.
  • beyond the merely academic, into the behaviours and attitudes schools should foster
  • basis on which we judge all new policy ideas, schools, and the structures we set up to monitor them
  • Ofsted
  • asked to steward the delivery of these outcomes
  • resourcing these bodies to develop an approach based on a wider range of measures and assessments than are currently in use,
Randolph Hollingsworth

National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2011 - 2 views

  •  
    Asa Spencer of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute writes in the Education Gadfly Weekly: "Traditionalists cringe, tech buffs rejoice: This latest NAEP writing assessment for grades eight and twelve marks the first computer-based appraisal (by the "nation's report card") of student proficiency in this subject. It evaluates students' writing skills (what NAEP calls both academic and workplace writing) based on three criteria: idea development, organization, and language facility and conventions. Results were predictably bad: Just twenty-four percent of eighth graders and 27 percent of twelfth graders scored proficient or above. Boys performed particularly poorly; half as many eighth-grade males reached proficiency as their female counterparts. The use of computers adds a level of complexity to these analyses: The software allows those being tested to use a thesaurus (which 29 percent of eighth graders exploited), text-to-speech software (71 percent of eighth graders used), spell check (three-quarters of twelfth graders), and kindred functions. It is unclear whether use of these crutches affected a student's "language facility" scores, though it sure seems likely. While this new mechanism for assessing kids' writing prowess makes it impossible to track trend data, one can make (disheartening) comparisons across subjects. About a third of eighth graders hit the NAEP proficiency benchmark in the latest science, math, and reading assessments, compared to a quarter for writing. So where to go from here? The report also notes that twelfth-grade students who write four to five pages a week score ten points higher than those who write just one page a week. Encouraging students to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is a start."
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