Whiplashes on target in standards debate 2

September 18, 2008

Hasn't Malcolm Grant made two elementary mistakes? He has confused the suggestion of the Burgess group that degree classifications should be replaced by academic transcripts with the midsummer flurry of debate about sliding standards. Peter Williams, chief executive of the Quality Assurance Agency, was talking about the former not the latter in the remarks quoted.

Grant also describes the "days every year" spent by "academics and their administrative colleagues" in "assessing exam scripts and participating in exam boards". Surely he does not wish us to believe that "trying hard" is all that counts? Students do not get marks just for trying hard, so why should examiners?

Slapdash work, Grant. As an experienced examiner, I would give that gamma minus.

G.R. Evans, Emeritus professor of intellectual history University of Cambridge.

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