2012 exam fiasco by the numbers

As someone new to teaching, and new to teaching GCSE, I’m finding the still on going discussions of the ‘GCSE Fiasco” fascinating.

As someone familiar with good and not so good leadership, I’m finding the silence of certain parties and the statements of others disheartening.

The numbers are enlightening…

FT Data blog:

England may have returned, by secret, to norm referencing. That might be a fine idea, but it would have been prudent to tell someone about it.

Geoff Barton on ‘Number Crunching’:

applying some numerical magic to the mystery of Ofqual’s limp explanation for the GCSE fiasco.

The Guardian Data Blog on GCSE pass rates:

The cause of such improvements in achievement has always been debated, and research published earlier this year by Ofqual found that exams had become easier in the last ten years.

Daniel Stucke English GCSE Analysis:

So a school that had completed all the controlled assessments and submitted them in January will have performed better than one who had completed them but held off to submit everything at the end of the course.

…it’s just a shame that this weeks media reporting couldn’t wrap its hands around the complex issues.

In all of this it’s sometimes a struggle to remember that what matters isn’t the exam boards, or ofqual, or ofsted, or the DfE, or the unions, or the Secretary of State for Education, or teachers, or heads and principals.

It’s the students, stupid.

GCSE Computer Science

There’s a raft of noise about new courses for September 2012 for ‘computing’ and ‘computer science’ (see Terminology).

  • WJECs new GCSE Computer Science specification is now available, including PDF versions of the specification and sample assessment materials.
  • Details of the AQA GCSE Computer Science course are available with supporting materials.
  • Edexcel GCSE in Computer Science. No documentation available. Originally slated for September 2012 start, the FAQ now says September 2013.
  • OCR GCSE Computing (first ran in 2010). And Susan Robson’s text book on Lulu.

For 2012 we’re already committed to providing the Edexcel GCSE in ICT and a Level 2 BTEC in Information and Creative Technology but I’m keen to develop the foundation to support delivering computer science so I’ll be watching how those courses develop with interest 🙂

Update [20120820]

(thanks @mylegoman)

Update [20120830]

(thanks @sccompton)