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England's teachers will feel the pressure over student grades this summer | Anonymous

I’ve seen firsthand how damaging exams can be. But they may be fairer than teacher-assessed grades * The author is a maths teacher at a state school in Nottinghamshire After working as a maths and physics teacher for four years, I decided I wanted a change of career. I spent four years in cancer screening and diagnosis before returning to teaching in 2019. Much of that time was spent discussing the sensitivity and specificity of tests. Whereas a “sensitive” test correctly identifies people who have a particular condition, a “specific” test generates a negative result for people who don’t have the condition. The same principle can be applied to exam grading: a sensitive test correctly identifies and awards the top grades to students who have performed best, while a specific test identifies those who haven’t performed as well, awarding them lower grades. In the perennial conversation about grade inflation, people are essentially concerned that testing is becoming less specific, and that too many students who don’t excel in a subject are getting excellent grades. This is what has bothered some about the news that exams will be replaced by teacher-assessed grades in England. This system is far better than the algorithm debacle last year, and it may be the best option for assessing students during a pandemic when exams can’t go ahead. But teacher-assessed grades will create their own forms of unfairness. The question is how you deal with these. Continue reading...

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