I have heard it proclaimed as a rallying cry: we are going to do whatever it takes to get those kids to pass and it will change their lives. It’s a galvanising mission-statement. But it’s wrong.
In this post, I’m going to explain why there is a basic mistake in that statement’s form. Next post will be about why the content of exams, particularly the English GCSEs, is misguided.
To be clear, exams are good. The presence of exams is far more meritocratic than the absence of them. But good exam grades are not intrinsically good (i.e. good in and of themselves).
They are good, firstly, because of the advantage they confer to individuals in the…
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