Monday, September 17, 2012

Ebacc Gumm

I guess that today's news, especially for an ex teacher, like me, was the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, announcing that the GCSES was dead, but not yet buried. It will be replaced in 2015, by an exam to be called the English Baccalaureate. Interestingly, this English Baccalaureate will have pretty much nothing in common with anybody else's Baccalaureate.

At the moment they don't even know what they will call it. It might be the eBacc, or the EBacc, or even the EBC. On this point I found the following quite fun, so I have stolen it off the BBC News website. This is not plagiarism, because I'm not pretending that it's mine.

"It could be the Ebacc for short, or even English Bac. One might try E Bac, or E-Bac if hyphenation is your thing. Those on Twitter have been exploring the possibilities since the Education Secretary Michael Gove announced the changes. The EBacc - "has a faint air of Yorkshire about it," says one Twitter user. Another of the Twitterati said it "Sounds like a hospital-acquired infection," while another asks: "How do you pronounce EBacc, is it like Ewok? If so I like them a bit more." In the same vein, one comment said "Glad I don't have to do this Ebacc thing, reminds me of chewbacca!"

This is me again, not the BBC, just so you know. I grew up with the GCE. Not long before I was at school they had something called the School Certificate. I don't know anything about it,so I will not explain what it was, because I don't know.

I liked the GCE when I was doing it. Mr Secretary Gove seems to think that the GCE was more rigorous and more honest than the GCSE, which just goes to show how little he knows about anything. Every year that I taught GCE History I could tell you what questions were coming up, and I was right at least 90% of the time. I could tell the girls whatnot revise, and they never needed to revise everything that we had done. That was never true with the GCSE where I was never able to predict what was coming up

Mind you, Mr Secretary Gove doesn't agree and he must know everything.

Where the GCE was bad was when it came to pupils who found it difficult to write descriptive, or discursive, essays. But that was only ever 60% of the students. Of course we had the CSE, but why should the kids be treated like second class students at the age of 14. No, the GCSE was a lot fairer for most pupils, and I think it was a fair exam. What was wrong was not the exam, it was the politicians mucking around with the grade boundaries. Sorry, politicians would never do that would they? Of course not, it was OFQUAL who fiddled the grade boundaries. But who told OFQUAL what to do.


The worst thing that happened to schools was that education became a political football. If only we could have kept it to ourselves and let the politicians screw up everything else. They're very good at that!

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