More than half of English students fail to get 5 Cs at GCSEs Watch

thesuperficial
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(Original post by Bismarck)
You're allowed to leave school in most American states at 16. So why do Americans who do badly continue learning until they finally graduate, while Brits do not?
you can leave school at 16 in england, you don't have to sit exams if you don't want to, the only requirement the government sets in that you are enrolled (and if you don't show up, the school adheres to usual truancy dicipline) until the end of june of the school year in which you turn 16. If you might get a qualification during this year, it makes sense to at least sit the exam. there is a higher stigma attached to having no qualification than a low qualification (obviously)

similarly in america, the stigma for having not finished high school (rather than at least staying to get a low pass for your diploma)is higher than staying the extra 2 years to get a low pass in your diploma.

clearly in any system the majority will stay until they have gained the minimum qualification.

Dropping out of high school is not comparable to doing badly in an exam that is near enough compulsory.

and people who do badly at 16 in america can stay on, its a choice to leave school with a bad qualification. In england, you do badly at 16, you are effectively barred from entering higher education (without completing catch-up maths and english courses to make sure you are up to the minimum academic standards.
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thisisyesterday
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(Original post by Bismarck)
You need to be able to interact with your customers, and you usually need to know how to report on your work to your superiors. And I'm glad you think that a portion of the British population should aim to work at Tesco. I don't suppose you'd strive for such a brilliant career?



You're horribly ignorant. You don't need to interect to the extent that you need GCSE english to do it. Sorry, are you suggesting that supermarket workers should be quoting shakespeare or chaucer to their customers? As I said in my post above (which, again you refused to acknowledge), exam results are a piece of paper - many people can't take exams as they can't cope with the pressure. I have a friend who was taking A-level law with me, and he was one of the brightest in our class... Yet when it came to sitting actual exams he got a really bad grade. He's not on an access course which is coursework based, and he's doing much better. Exams don't suit everybody, and as I said previously, there are many courses that people can do which don't require GCSEs to start them. Not having GCSEs doesn't mean the end of the world.


Also, I don't think the poster was suggesting that a portion of the British population should aim to work in Tesco, they also used the example of a mechanic. Which you convieniently chose to ignore. I love the way you pick and choose what you reply to in order to give your argument more basis.


You may have a point, our educative system may not be perfect. But you're going about trying to prove it in the wrong way. In your country, which is full of crime and depravity, your education system doesn't seem to be doing the job either? You blamed my school for 'allowing' me to be bullied, what about your system which 'allows' kids to start carrying guns, joining gangs, and shooting at each other. Is *that* the fault of the education system? Furthermore, the statistics you're using only prove a small part of what you're saying. I think for a start you should address the point that a few people have made in requesting proof of the level/standard of work the kids do until 18 in comparison to over here. Also, I think unemployment stats from each country might be a good idea to have a look at. I'm not completely disagreeing with you about the state of our education system, I just dislike the way you're acting as if the US system is perfect.
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la fille danse
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#83
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You're horribly ignorant. You don't need to interect to the extent that you need GCSE english to do it.
Rofl. GCSE English is ridiculously simple.

It is frankly appalling that anyone could fail to get a C in an exam of their NATIVE LANGUAGE. Why is it so much to expect native speakers of English to be able to competently read and analyse written English at a very basic level?
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thisisyesterday
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(Original post by no hero in her sky)
Rofl. GCSE English is ridiculously simple.

It is frankly appalling that anyone could fail to get a C in an exam of their NATIVE LANGUAGE. Why is it so much to expect native speakers of English to be able to competently read and analyse written English at a very basic level?

Simple to you maybe, but as I have stated in a number of previous posts, some people don't work well under exam pressure, or may have other things going on in their lives so that they don't perform to their full potential. Also, some children simply 'can't be bothered', which is sad to say, but it doesn't mean they're not capable, or necessarily reflect on the education system. It could be a reflection of a number of things, I don't know - bad parenting for example? Or peer pressure?

A below C grade at GCSE could be a reflection of a number of things is all I'm saying, not just that the education system is failing, or the youth in our country are just 'thick'...


Also, what you have quoted me on isn't relevant to what you've said in your post. The OP stated that it was necessary to have GCSE english to be able to work in tesco - because you need to interact with customers and report to your supervisor etc - but I was refuting that, just because you don't have an English GCSE doesn't mean you can't do all those things competently.
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Agent Smith
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(Original post by Bismarck)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...on/7179479.stm

According to that study, well over 50% of English students were unable to get 5 Cs on their exams. What does this say about England? How can a country allow more than half of its young people to fail to reach a ridiculously low standard? Can England's major social problems, most notably its drinking culture, rise of "chavs", and hooliganism be caused by this awful education system?

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/dropout0.../figure_04.asp

That's compared to 3/4 of Americans finishing high school, which is 4 years long (ends when students are about 18), requires passing far more than 5 classes, and where you can't pick and choose which basic classes to take.
You're assuming that pass marks are identical on both sides of the Atlantic.
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jasonm
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If the school leaving age was 14, then i think most of the people who do leave at 14 would go on to get no qualifications, severely curtailing their prospects in later life. There are always exceptions however, but i feel it would create a kind of two-tier society, those with qualifications and those without.

Perhaps a better system would be to remove all examinations until 17 and 18, hopefully by that age, people would start to take responsibility for themselves more rather than at 16.

Also, every child should be able to get 5 Cs, the National Curriculum is set that way for a reason, and frankly in some subjects the C boundry is almost a farce, eg, need less that 20% in Maths, or 30% in French. And to people who say that some children may not be accademically inclined and so won't get 5 GCSEs, getting 5 Cs hardly means that your an academic, it doesn't even mean your competent at a subject.
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cottonmouth
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(Original post by Bismarck)
You need to be able to interact with your customers, and you usually need to know how to report on your work to your superiors. And I'm glad you think that a portion of the British population should aim to work at Tesco. I don't suppose you'd strive for such a brilliant career?
Interact how exactly? By spouting sonnets? People don't want poetry. It seems to me you are talking about mentally retarded people, and not simply people who didn't do well at school. I truly hope you don't believe they are the same thing. People in jobs such as Tesco are capable of communication- but don't need all of those GCSE's to do it.

And yes, people should aim to work at Tesco, if that i all they are capable of. In some othe thread, you would be moaning about incapacity benefit, and how it isn't hard to go and get a shop job, rather than sitting around on the dole. You just seem like a complete out-of-touch snob, and it's boring.


A career is a career. Everyone should strive to do their best at what they are capable of. I'm capable of more than Tesco. Some people aren't. These same people do no need to have good exam results. Pushing them through school is a waste of their time, and damaging to those who want to learn, as less focus is put on them, and more on instilling order in the unwilling.
You can deride Tesco all you want, but wait for the day when everyone is too clever to wrk there and you have to grow your own ****ing food.
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jasonm
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Most British people probably are to over-qualified to work there, hence the reliance on immigration.
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Axiom
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I think the central problem with many exams - a problem not limited to the UK - is that they're not so much about testing people's rudimentary abilities, and are instead a test of how well you can jump through hoops for the exam board.
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cottonmouth
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(Original post by Axiom)
I think the central problem with many exams - a problem not limited to the UK - is that they're not so much about testing people's rudimentary abilities, and are instead a test of how well you can jump through hoops for the exam board.
Yes. I remember having to answer a question a certain way, saying certain things to get the maks, and then writing at the end, directly to the examiner, that i didn't even believe half of what i'd written, and only done it to get the marks. Didn't lose me anything, and if more people started doing this, maybe someone would wake up.
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jasonm
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far less stigma in Britain about being a failure. Surely that's a societal flaw that needs to be addressed?
I would say that was a positive thing.
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thesuperficial
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(Original post by Bismarck)
You can retake GCSEs as many times as you want. And I agree with your point about there being far less stigma in Britain about being a failure. Surely that's a societal flaw that needs to be addressed?
well, it depends what you consider a failure really, getting a poor high school diploma in easy subjects when you're 18 could probably be considered more of a failure than getting less than 5 c's at GCSE's but being in a stable job with prospects by the time you're 18. And leaving school at 16 when almost everyone finishes at 18 is much more of a failure than finishing school and not going on to higher education.
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jasonm
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Of course it's a positive thing, how is it good if a society looks down on an individual on the basis of academic achievement. Surely that is horribly intolerant if as a society you hold those who fail academically in contempt. Failing of course is never positive, however judging someone's character purely because of it is wrong.
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thesuperficial
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(Original post by Bismarck)
If that's all they're capable according to who? You? I can't believe a socialist like you would be willing to abandon millions of people to guaranteed poverty (since that's what a career at Tesco entails) just because they don't have the motivation to do well in school. I'd expect this from a libertarian.
I don't really think working in a company that puts all its employees on a sliding scale pay basis (as in, the lowest you can start on is min. wage - which is relatively higher than american min. wage anyway- and then generally gives people a small pay rise every six months to a year to encourage productivity) and which has a huge scope for promotion to more manegerial positions even for people with poor qualifications neccesarily guarantees poverty.

Pay for even people who aren't qualified to work on checkouts starts at £5.85 for tesco employees, how does a yearly salary of nearly £13,000 mean poverty, especially in a country where even including graduate pay rates and stuff the average wage is still only around £22,000? especially when this is the starting pay rate and doesn't even take into account promotion. especially when this is the rate for 18 year olds, not even those who are over 21.

now i see why you think that the british should encourage people who aren't necccesarily ever going to work in a thinking job to be called failures.
you're an idiot.
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thisisyesterday
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(Original post by cottonmouth)
Interact how exactly? By spouting sonnets? People don't want poetry. It seems to me you are talking about mentally retarded people, and not simply people who didn't do well at school. I truly hope you don't believe they are the same thing. People in jobs such as Tesco are capable of communication- but don't need all of those GCSE's to do it.


hehe my sentiments exactly, I said something quite similar on page 5. I personally think we're wasting our time trying to get through to him though, all he's doing it picking little bits of what we say and trying to find flaws in it, whilst refusing to look at the bigger picture. I think deep down he knows he's wrong, but he's done his self-righteous thing for so long now, he can hardly back-track.
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Joanna May
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(Original post by Bismarck)
If that's all they're capable according to who? You? I can't believe a socialist like you would be willing to abandon millions of people to guaranteed poverty (since that's what a career at Tesco entails) just because they don't have the motivation to do well in school. I'd expect this from a libertarian.
Excuse me? Guaranteed poverty? How much exactly do you think people who work in Tesco earn? I wouldn't call ten grand a year poverty, and anyone who does it out of touch with reality. Go do some charitable work, and see what real poverty is.
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Sidhe
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(Original post by Bismarck)
Yeah, I'm sure people who can't manage 5 Cs have stable jobs with prospects.
Those who have no qualifications whatsoever can chose to study vocational qualifications and can end up in well paid jobs, bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters, plasterers, mechanics etc. And they can get a headstart on people if they have no interest in University. I'm not entirely sure what point you're trying to make here?

I'm not even going to bother working out how you assert that there is no stigmatising by results, I'd say the pressure to do well at exams is very high.
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Agent Smith
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(Original post by Bismarck)
Actually, the pass marks are higher in the US (usually about 65%), but I'm willing to overlook that since American exams tend to be easier.
Exactly; and I suspect in some cases one of those two factors is dominant, and in some cases the other.
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thisisyesterday
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(Original post by Bismarck)
They can, but a vast majority don't.


Back that up please???
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jasonm
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First of all, how i don't remember when it became "disgusting" to judge someones character on more than just their academic success. Secondly, how does failing at school mean that somebody will "fail" life, and not lead a fulfilling or successful life. For example, Richard Branson performed extremely poorly at school, yet according to you he is a failure. Furthermore, you don't seem to understand that even if you have no qualifications, you are more than able to earn a living wage in the UK at least, you won't need to be on benefits for your whole life.
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