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 Post subject: Is teaching now comedy?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:14 pm 
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55 % to get grade A for Maths A level :lol: :lol:
No grade inflation here !

Hate to think what other subjects require.

"Just 55 per cent is required for an A in this year's Edexcel exam, according to a leaked copy of the grade boundaries seen by The Telegraph. It is believed to be the lowest amount of marks ever needed to secure a top grade in a Maths A-level.

Students with 45 per cent will be awarded a B, those with 34 per cent will get a C and those with 14 per cent will pass their A-level with a grade E."

Rest is behind the paywall.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/0 ... -will-get/





I got a B at O level maths in 1975


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:39 pm 
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Me too. Got an A for A levels however, so clearly some sort of 'give the idiots a pass' scheme came into effect round about then.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:47 pm 
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Imagine it's to get people to do maths. Nobody does it because it hurts your total for uni places. This would aid that issue


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:48 pm 
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A low grade boundary generally reflects the opposite of what you're attempting to infer; ie the paper was f**king hard work and even getting 55 means you're doing damned well.

One may well question the wisdom of setting such a paper, but that's what the current government demanded - more rigorous exams. Possibly because they share the same misinformed perspective so many of those in middle apparently seem to, that kids have had it too easy.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:15 pm 
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Sock why not just award the top 20% an A and the next 20% a B? Then the variability of the hardness of the exams will not be an issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:42 pm 
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Uthikoloshe wrote:
Sock why not just award the top 20% an A and the next 20% a B? Then the variability of the hardness of the exams will not be an issue.


Nah, you might have a really stupid year where the top child in the country only got 50% - standards should be consistent, and they clearly are not. Compare a A level or gcse from to today to one 20 years and the difference in difficulty is easily apparent.
Even when I sat mine in the 90’s we went through older papers for practice , and I found them hard, so I don’t feel this difficulty dilution is anything new.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:43 pm 
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Uthikoloshe wrote:
Sock why not just award the top 20% an A and the next 20% a B? Then the variability of the hardness of the exams will not be an issue.

That would require having every single paper in the country marked before being able to put a grade on any one of them.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:50 pm 
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Don't listen to the naysayers and their project fear. There's bound to be a technical solution out there. One which is thought up by non-experts.

Go for it.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:52 pm 
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backrow wrote:
Uthikoloshe wrote:
Sock why not just award the top 20% an A and the next 20% a B? Then the variability of the hardness of the exams will not be an issue.


Nah, you might have a really stupid year where the top child in the country only got 50% - standards should be consistent, and they clearly are not.

This just cant be true that nature delivers geniuses one year and dolts the next.

Charltom I dont see the proplem with every paper being given a mark, and once all the results are in, giving the top 20 As etc... Can you explain why this is a problem?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:55 pm 
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Uthikoloshe wrote:
Sock why not just award the top 20% an A and the next 20% a B? Then the variability of the hardness of the exams will not be an issue.


That is, broadly speaking, what happens.

55% as the boundary for a top grade (now 8 or 9 rather than A) would be set in order to capture what's deemed to be the appropriate percentage of candidates.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:58 pm 
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Uthikoloshe wrote:
backrow wrote:
Uthikoloshe wrote:
Sock why not just award the top 20% an A and the next 20% a B? Then the variability of the hardness of the exams will not be an issue.


Nah, you might have a really stupid year where the top child in the country only got 50% - standards should be consistent, and they clearly are not.

This just cant be true that nature delivers geniuses one year and dolts the next.

Charltom I dont see the proplem with every paper being given a mark, and once all the results are in, giving the top 20 As etc... Can you explain why this is a problem?


Grade boundaries are worked out ideally with as much marked as possible. Depending on examiner behaviours you may have to award with as little as 75% of grades on file.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:04 pm 
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Cheers :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:32 pm 
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Glaston wrote:
55 % to get grade A for Maths A level :lol: :lol:
No grade inflation here !

Hate to think what other subjects require.

"Just 55 per cent is required for an A in this year's Edexcel exam, according to a leaked copy of the grade boundaries seen by The Telegraph. It is believed to be the lowest amount of marks ever needed to secure a top grade in a Maths A-level.

Students with 45 per cent will be awarded a B, those with 34 per cent will get a C and those with 14 per cent will pass their A-level with a grade E."

Rest is behind the paywall.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/0 ... -will-get/

I got a B at O level maths in 1975


Shit, if only it had been that easy in my day I reckon I would have got an E in Economics A Level and not an unclassified.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:42 pm 
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89.5% in my kids' school for an A.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:07 pm 
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charltom wrote:
Uthikoloshe wrote:
Sock why not just award the top 20% an A and the next 20% a B? Then the variability of the hardness of the exams will not be an issue.

That would require having every single paper in the country marked before being able to put a grade on any one of them.



You realise they have computers n stuff?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:16 pm 
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In NI the main examining body revise grade boundaries yearly. So the top 20% get A, and so on
They also introduced a C* (the bottom bracket of the old B and the top of C), which is pretty unnecessary


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:26 pm 
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backrow wrote:
Uthikoloshe wrote:
Sock why not just award the top 20% an A and the next 20% a B? Then the variability of the hardness of the exams will not be an issue.


Nah, you might have a really stupid year where the top child in the country only got 50% - standards should be consistent, and they clearly are not. Compare a A level or gcse from to today to one 20 years and the difference in difficulty is easily apparent.
Even when I sat mine in the 90’s we went through older papers for practice , and I found them hard, so I don’t feel this difficulty dilution is anything new.

A weird thing about older past papers was often how “spartan” the question would be. Very little to go on, either you knew exactly what was being asked or you hadn’t a clue.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:43 pm 
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Yourbrother wrote:
Doesn't mean anything.
As stated above the tests might just be harder. Maybe its harder to get 55 now than 90 " back the day"


That doesn't make much sense at all.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:47 pm 
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paddyor wrote:
backrow wrote:
Uthikoloshe wrote:
Sock why not just award the top 20% an A and the next 20% a B? Then the variability of the hardness of the exams will not be an issue.


Nah, you might have a really stupid year where the top child in the country only got 50% - standards should be consistent, and they clearly are not. Compare a A level or gcse from to today to one 20 years and the difference in difficulty is easily apparent.
Even when I sat mine in the 90’s we went through older papers for practice , and I found them hard, so I don’t feel this difficulty dilution is anything new.

A weird thing about older past papers was often how “spartan” the question would be. Very little to go on, either you knew exactly what was being asked or you hadn’t a clue.


I've written this before. My degree was business but heavily mathematically biased. You had to get an A (I think) in Maths to get on it.

Anyway, in our final year, myself and two friends on the course went to complain to the Dept Head (Mathematics) about the exams. I think we had 9 spread around 12 days (M-F). His retort was that at Imperial College, he didn't take any exams until the final year. There were eight of them - one in the AM, one in the PM - Mon-Thursday. No resits, no appeals - that was it.

We just walked out. :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:53 pm 
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backrow wrote:
Uthikoloshe wrote:
Sock why not just award the top 20% an A and the next 20% a B? Then the variability of the hardness of the exams will not be an issue.


Nah, you might have a really stupid year where the top child in the country only got 50% - standards should be consistent, and they clearly are not. Compare a A level or gcse from to today to one 20 years and the difference in difficulty is easily apparent.
Even when I sat mine in the 90’s we went through older papers for practice , and I found them hard, so I don’t feel this difficulty dilution is anything new.



Not the case, in my view.

Given the size of each subsequent cohort, there is zero statistical reason that there should be a year-on-year variability the like of which you have described above. Perfectly acceptable to use boundaries based on percentage passes.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:09 am 
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I can't speak for the UK but a family member marks Higher level Maths papers in the Irish equivalent (the Leaving Cert).

There is a markers' conference before the papers are distributed (but after the exams!) where the first draft of the marking scheme is issued.

She then marks a random 25% of her papers & sends a random 10% of those to her marking supervisor. She has about 400 papers in total.

Within about a week there is a 2nd conference (in this case by phone) where revisions to the marking scheme are distributed. She then re-marks the 1st 25% and does the remaining 75%.

I imagine that most jurisdictions are somewhat similar.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:14 am 
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The objective of the above is that they keep the grade boundaries the same from year to year but adjust the marking scheme to keep the % of students at each grade roughly the same.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:16 am 
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lilyw wrote:
I can't speak for the UK but a family member marks Higher level Maths papers in the Irish equivalent (the Leaving Cert).

There is a markers' conference before the papers are distributed (but after the exams!) where the first draft of the marking scheme is issued.

She then marks a random 25% of her papers & sends a random 10% of those to her marking supervisor. She has about 400 papers in total.

Within about a week there is a 2nd conference (in this case by phone) where revisions to the marking scheme are distributed. She then re-marks the 1st 25% and does the remaining 75%.

I imagine that most jurisdictions are somewhat similar.


One of my mates in very senior in the WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee) which sets and administers school/college examinations throughout Wales. He told me some years back of something similar. No doubt examining bodies talk inter and intra country to set best practice. Interestingly, he worked in industry as an Engineer before joining the WJEC a decade or so ago.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:31 am 
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Not sure about grade inflation form the Old era. Michael Gove made the exams and syllabus harder when he was education Sec at both GCSE and A-Level. So the late 2010 era of exams is certainly harder than 10-15 years ago. The exams are proably meant to be easier than the O'Level era. They are meant to be more accessible to everyone than the O'Levels and A-Levels of the 1970's which were designed for only a small proportion of the country to pass (15-20%). Hence adding the A* grade and the Level 9 which is basically an A** (double star) to really separate the top.

However the exams now are harder than the New Labour era for sure. I don't know exactly for Maths but Science grade boundaries have certainly crept up over the years since Gove. You can see that by searching for the raw score boundaries on exam websites as proof.

My big bug bear is that there is a clear difference in the work required and difficulty between subjects. A Biology, Physics etc is obviously very consistent, it's a right or wrong subject like Maths and the skills are vast and the knowledge is even more so, however it seems well spoken and articulate kids (examiners like answers to be a certain way) can just throw the same formula into essay subjects and get a good grade without to much knowledge or revision if they are practised enough. Another problem is at the moment another story says essay subjects grades and vary wildly. So much so 48% are believed to be marked wrong:

Quote:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/reve ... -xsj33jvnh

Revealed — A-level results are 48% wrong
Sian Griffiths, Education Editor
August 11 2019, 12:01am,
The Sunday Times

Two out of five teenagers who sat essay-based A-levels may be awarded the “wrong” grade when results come out on Thursday because of inconsistent marking, according to research by the exam regulator Ofqual.

The study shows the probability of a candidate not getting the correct grade in subjects such as English and history is between 42% and 48% because examiners mark subjectively. For sociology it is 37% and for geography 35%.

The findings threaten to undermine the reputation of A-levels as the education system’s gold standard after its biggest shake-up in a generation. Results are expected to be good again on Thursday with a pass rate of about 98% and more than a quarter of entrants gaining top A* or A grades. But for the third year in a row, after the phased introduction of tough new exams, exam boards have confirmed that they have lowered the marks candidates need to achieve good grades. Pass marks in subjects such as maths have dropped to 20% or less.

Experts said there was a “crisis of confidence” in the exam and that harder questions and lower-grade boundaries for A-levels were causing confusion.

“Millions have been spent on this new A-level exam system and even now there is a crisis of confidence. The marking in essay-based subjects has been proved wrong on too many occasions and the grade boundaries have been lowered to a dangerous level,” said Alan Smithers, professor at the Centre for Education Research at Buckingham University. “Students who get a pass in maths A-level, having failed to answer 80% of questions correctly, are being misled into thinking they can cope with a university degree,” he said.


Ofqual said: “It is recognised that the quality of marking in England is among the best in the world. However, we are not complacent.”


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:35 am 
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LandOTurk wrote:
Yourbrother wrote:
Doesn't mean anything.
As stated above the tests might just be harder. Maybe its harder to get 55 now than 90 " back the day"


That doesn't make much sense at all.


I think he means the 55 marks could be on a harder paper, a paper hard enough it's more difficult to get 55 on it then 90 on an older paper.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:43 am 
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I remember when I took A levels they were debating how easy they were and that was 30 years ago. I bet you get an A for writing your name if those trends have continued.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:46 am 
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Surely as has been suggested above, its best just to grade to the bell curve.

Year to year the difference in ability of the students is probably not going to be massive. And it takes the variability of exams out of the equation.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:02 am 
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I have had students take A levels for the last 15 years and they are hard and they have been particularly harder since 2013, when Gove made them much harder. This whole debate is rubbish, and doesn't do anyone any good.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:50 am 
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Masterji wrote:
I have had students take A levels for the last 15 years and they are hard and they have been particularly harder since 2013, when Gove made them much harder. This whole debate is rubbish, and doesn't do anyone any good.


Do they not mark to a curve


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:04 am 
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Kids are dumber today. Everyone knows this.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:31 am 
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LandOTurk wrote:
Anyway, in our final year, myself and two friends on the course went to complain to the Dept Head (Mathematics) about the exams. I think we had 9 spread around 12 days (M-F). His retort was that at Imperial College, he didn't take any exams until the final year. There were eight of them - one in the AM, one in the PM - Mon-Thursday. No resits, no appeals - that was it.

We just walked out. :lol:


My last two finals exams were the last exams held on the entire uni campus for that academic year. While everyone else had been out partying and having a ball for at least a month I was revising structures, soil and fluid mechanics. I really despised the geography students at that point who had spent three years coasting along on 5 hours lectures a week and a handful of finals exams


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:46 am 
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Masterji wrote:
I have had students take A levels for the last 15 years and they are hard and they have been particularly harder since 2013, when Gove made them much harder. This whole debate is rubbish, and doesn't do anyone any good.


Surely this is the time of year when the Daily Mail publishes an exam paper from1901 that 8 year olds used to sit that is fiendishly difficult just to demonstrate how thick todays students are.

Also, today in the Telegraph we get the annual photo of pretty girls from some independent school jumping in the air in unison celebrating there A****************************** in 14 subjects each and the obligatory photo of the 11 year old nerdy Indian kid who has won a place at Oxford to study mathematics.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:57 am 
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I'd hate to be a teacher these days. The shit they have to put up with and the work they have to do for relatively modest pay is ridiculous. My Mrs is a Primary Teacher and some of the stories she tells me about behavior from kids and parents alike beggars belief.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:01 am 
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sockwithaticket wrote:
A low grade boundary generally reflects the opposite of what you're attempting to infer; ie the paper was f**king hard work and even getting 55 means you're doing damned well.

One may well question the wisdom of setting such a paper, but that's what the current government demanded - more rigorous exams. Possibly because they share the same misinformed perspective so many of those in middle apparently seem to, that kids have had it too easy.



From the people I know, no-one things kids have it too easy but there is a serious concern that they are not getting a good education and that exam results are becoming increasingly meaningless.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:43 am 
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Just so we can set the record straight so nip in the bud these silly stories. The Edexcel maths exam this year was notorious. One of the papers was leaked and so they likely binned it. One of the other papers was considered insanely hard. Strong kids who had been banging out A* in practise papers reported afterwards that they reckon they could only answer 1 of the questions. Weaker kids who should have been passing were walking out after 20 minutes. This exam was not typical.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:47 am 
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We do the 9MAO Edexcel Paper, odd results this year, out of 10 candidates we had two A*, two A, one B, one D, an E and 3 U.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:52 am 
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I'm not in UK so don't know our results but I know we had no idea what they would be as a result of Edexcel making a pigs ear of this exam.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:58 am 
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MrJonno wrote:
sockwithaticket wrote:
A low grade boundary generally reflects the opposite of what you're attempting to infer; ie the paper was f**king hard work and even getting 55 means you're doing damned well.

One may well question the wisdom of setting such a paper, but that's what the current government demanded - more rigorous exams. Possibly because they share the same misinformed perspective so many of those in middle apparently seem to, that kids have had it too easy.



From the people I know, no-one things kids have it too easy but there is a serious concern that they are not getting a good education and that exam results are becoming increasingly meaningless.


Yup, not the kids fault at all (same can’t be said about their entitlement attitude to work though , the lazy buggers)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:47 am 
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Sandstorm wrote:
Kids are dumber today. Everyone knows this.

We only played with clay in grade one. Easy to pass 80% when you only need to know the difference between red and green clay. Last year my eldest daughter was in grade one and she was doing work I only did in grade 3. This year the poor little thing could hardly even play with her younger sibling as it takes her 6 hours to finish her homework.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:59 am 
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Average Joe wrote:
Sandstorm wrote:
Kids are dumber today. Everyone knows this.

We only played with clay in grade one. Easy to pass 80% when you only need to know the difference between red and green clay. Last year my eldest daughter was in grade one and she was doing work I only did in grade 3. This year the poor little thing could hardly even play with her younger sibling as it takes her 6 hours to finish her homework.


Some kids have bad genes. Not their fault either.


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