In yet another example of the British government’s short-sighted doublethink, ‘A’ Levels are being dumbed down.
From the point of view of a Labour minister, this is a good thing – more kids will get straight A’s, right? (New Labour has always been about appearances, never about standards.) So far the ‘A’ Level had partly escaped their meddling – it’s not a bad exam as 18yo qualifications go – but it seems its time has now come.
Just as GCSEs are now devalued (as the percentage of kids getting top grades has jumped every year), the trusty ‘A’ Level will shortly be a muddled mulch of politically correct thinking where an exam answer is simply ‘whatever the student thinks’.
No standards. No quality. No value.
To see where this is going, look at any GCSE exam paper. It’s truly shocking just how simple a GCSE paper is compared to the old ‘O’ Level. It’s driven by well-meaning reformists, of course (save us from these men and their visions!) – a GCSE includes more independent thinking and questions about ideas rather than answers. Which misses the point – at 16 years old, testing is about checking the basics, the facts and the equations and the grammar, so the kids have the right mental tools to think better in the real world later on.
Now, the same thing’s happening to ‘A’ Levels. Sad.