Easy-peasy science GCSEs binned
You put the bunsen burner where?
Science GCSEs set to replace the pack of dumbed down current exams have been rejected for being too easy.
Exam regulator Ofqual has said the proposed GCSEs don't go far enough to addressing the “serious concerns” it has for science assessment. It says they are not demanding enough, especially for the brightest students.
The 36 new exams and course structures, drawn up by five examining bodies, were due to start being taught in September 2011. These five organisations still hope to rework their stuff to hit the deadline.
Ofqual ordered the science paper revamp last summer. It launched the initial review because it found “serious causes for concern when monitoring the version of the qualifications used in 2007 and 2008, and still in use today”.
It's unclear if enough messing around with frogs, Van de Graaff generators, radioactive bits and bobs, and Bunsen burner fights are included in the syllabuses.
Kathleen Tattersall, Chair of Ofqual and Chief Regulator, said: "Ofqual’s job is to make sure that standards are maintained. If qualifications do not meet our standards, we cannot accept them into the regulated system.
"Learners, teachers, employers and universities look for the independent regulator’s stamp of approval as assurance that qualifications are rigorous, demanding and fair. I look forward to receiving improved GCSE science qualifications that meet our requirements."
Meanwhile Ofqual says improvements have been built in to the current version of exams, and the regulators will make sure that grades awarded this summer are appropriate and fair.
GCSE science subjects are: science; additional science; additional applied science; biology; chemistry and physics. ®
..why we have regional examing boards where, in theory, it can be easier to pass an exam in one area than another.
Scrap them all, have one central one.
There another few quangos killed.
Oh God, I must be getting old
I haven't seen a GCSE science paper, but I have been giving my nephew extra tutoring for his maths and I've had a good look at the GCSE maths curriculum, and if there is any equivalance then I'm worried. Compared to syllabus that I studied for O Level (yes, that old) there were huge yawning gaps where the calculus and set theory used to be. There was good coverage elsewhere, but if calculus isn't done until after GCSE level then I worry about what else has been shifted to make room for it at A level. I might find out next year when Hooper Jr. comes back for more maths from the doddery old lady. Meanwhile, if they've done that to the maths curriculum what has happened to the sciences?
I'll stop now before I feel the need to reach for a Werther's and the Daily Heil.
Ofqual failed obviously
So we have this statement:
"Ofqual’s job is to make sure that standards are maintained. If qualifications do not meet our standards, we cannot accept them into the regulated system."
...and this one:
“serious causes for concern when monitoring the version of the qualifications used in 2007 and 2008, and still in use today”.
Does this mean that anyone who took a science GCSE in 2007, 2008, 2009 don't get a qualification? How is it that 3 years AFTER the problems with 2007's paper, the problem isn't fixed? If their job is to ensure that standards are maintained, how were students able to study for and sit an exam that didn't meet the standards? Surely the checking should be done BEFORE students are awarded non-qualifications?