There should be A*s at A Level Watch

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Danny
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#41
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#41
On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 16:19:41 +0100, Chris Share <[email protected] > wrote:

[q1]>Elitism at uni is not bad, it's bloody necessary. As long as it's the right sort - elitism based on[/q1]
[q1]>wealth etc is bad, but based on intelligence, ability etc is needed. You think that Cambridge[/q1]
[q1]>should admit people with Ds at A-level, just because otherwise it'd be discrimination? That'd be[/q1]
[q1]>just moronic.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>chris[/q1]

Obviously not Ds

I sympathise with both sides of the argument. All I'm saying is give people a chance who get
slightly lower grades, don't let grades be the be all and end all. I fear that if A*s were
introduced, this situation would become more likely.

Dan
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Brackets
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"K. Edgcombe" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
[q1]> In article <[email protected]>, Brackets[/q1]
[q1]> <[email protected] com> wrote:[/q1]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >"Danny" <[email protected]?.mo c> wrote in message[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >Yes, exactly my point. People who do well, get more benefit. Thats why people who get higher[/q2]
[q2]> >grades, should get into the better universities, because, at least ideally, they are more[/q2]
[q2]> >intelligent, or have more "intellect" as that definition puts it.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >I'm saying people should get favoured treatment because of their intelligence, and therefore,[/q2]
[q2]> >universities are, and should be, elitist.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> It's not a matter of favoured treatment. There is no point in admitting someone to a highly[/q1]
[q1]> demanding university course if they are not going to[/q1]
be
[q1]> able to cope with it. If we are going to run highly demanding courses[/q1]
(which
[q1]> is a different discussion, of course), and stretch the brightest students,[/q1]
then
[q1]> we must endeavour to recruit for those courses the people who can cope[/q1]
with
[q1]> them. Otherwise we waste everyone's time and create a great deal of[/q1]
frustration
[q1]> and misery.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> A level grades are not an ideal way to do this, but they need to be part[/q1]
of the
[q1]> process.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> When the Royal Academy of Music, for instance, shows a preference for recruiting students with[/q1]
[q1]> some talent for music, is this "favoured treatment", or just common sense?[/q1]

Surely its a combination of the two? While I take your point that brighter students get admitted to
better courses because they are the ones who can handle them, isn't a part of it also that they'll
get better lecturers, more funding etc because they are putting their talent to good use, and
therefore deserve some reward for it?

--
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Stuart Williams
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#43
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] .co.uk says...
[q1]> The alternative (which we've explored here on occasion is to have fully discounted system where we[/q1]
[q1]> admit n some specious unmeasured estimate of 'potential'. That's not what universities are about.[/q1]
[q1]> We are not responsible for the school system; we have enough trouble maintaining academic[/q1]
[q1]> standards in our own institutions. John[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

This is not offered in any confrontational way, but I couldn't disagree more profoundly: the
universities do drive the school system at 16+ in a way which is all-pervasive. Is there anyone on
this group who thinks that universities are /not/ in effect responsible for the school system?

I agree that A levels have been watered down to the point that they are not a particularly good
discriminator at the A/B level - so why don't you start setting your own tests? - (a much more
productive use of Open Days than just meeting the lecturers and looking at the facilities, IMHO).

SW
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Ath
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#44
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#44
I didn't bring into it the individual skills of the person in question, if that were the case
everyone would be examined on their individual merits rather than being thrust into a 'one size fits
all system'. I don't underestimate the skills needed, you read background material, you read the
broadsheets and you watch the news: you get a decent grade in Politics. In Physics or Chemistry you
can get tricky application questions which require specific and precise recall of information and
then the use of that in a situation that may be different from the one you first encountered it in.
In Politics, and in most essay subjects apart from el, you can apply the knowledge to a question
that does not have to be to the same accuracy to get a comparable mark.

"JHP" <[email protected] t.co.uk> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> ath <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...[/q1]
[q2]> > There's enough of a disrimination in the actual A-Level the person is doing... wouldn't you rate[/q2]
[q2]> > an A in Physics or Chemistry higher than an A[/q2]
[q1]> in[/q1]
[q2]> > Politics or in Business Studies? Most universities have specific[/q2]
subject
[q2]> > requirements and they seem to... I do Politics to give me some relief[/q2]
[q1]> from[/q1]
[q2]> > my other sciences and to be blunt its simple compared to Physics or Chemistry... ath[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q1]> What tendentious nonsense. You underestimate the skills of expression[/q1]
needed
[q1]> in Politics, for example, which are badly underdevelopod in ppl who have done excuslively science[/q1]
[q1]> subjects. I would guess that you are mistaking information content for development and critical[/q1]
[q1]> ability. John[/q1]
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Jhp
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#45
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#45
Danny <[email protected]?.mo c> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]> On 14 Jun 2002 14:36:27 -0700, [email protected] (Davido) wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]> >> > An A* grade at A-level might over-pressure some students - just imagine trying to meet an[/q2]
[q2]> >> > A*A*A*[/q2]
offer.
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >I said it was provided that only Oxbridge use it, and have maximum offer A*AA = not that much[/q2]
[q2]> >pressure.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >I don't really agree with Danny that A Levels are elitist and that you can only get 90 if you are[/q2]
[q2]> >from a top public school. I got 9A*s from an extremely poor state school by putting in the work.[/q2]
[q2]> >At A Level in some cases the teachers aren't important - you can get 90+ by working hard.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> No but the chances are much higher if you are from a public school. I forgot who but someone[/q1]
[q1]> earlier was talking about getting the right (most intelligent) people into the best jobs. Howcomes[/q1]
[q1]> the 'best' people (those at Oxbridge) are mostly from the highest social classes? It's not because[/q1]
[q1]> upper class people are more intelligent, but because they are given a better opportunity to get[/q1]
[q1]> the best they can. This is hardly getting the best suited people to the best jobs. I bet there are[/q1]
[q1]> so many people who are doing **** jobs now who would make excellent teachers, for example. I'm not[/q1]
[q1]> sure who's problem it is to be honest. All I know is that's it's a very complicated one and not as[/q1]
[q1]> simple and straightforward as 'the education system is elitist, and that's the only way, so get[/q1]
[q1]> over it'.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Dan[/q1]
But the problem lies more in the school system than at universities. Compared wit the inevitable
tiny amount of 'old boyism' etc at universities the disparity of opportunity at the school stage is
bizarre, and yet Oxford (for whom I have little love, by the way) is consistently accused of
selectivity where none exists. The fundamental problem for ATs is how much are we prepared to weigh
potential unrealised because of disadvantage against solid exam results, even if we were not bound
by the strait jacket of league tables. John
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Very Wise
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#46
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#46
"Brackets" <[email protected] com> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "Davido" <[email protected]> wrote in message[/q1]
[q1]> news:[email protected]...[/q1]
[q3]> > > > An A* grade at A-level might over-pressure some students - just imagine trying to meet an[/q3]
[q3]> > > > A*A*A*[/q3]
[q1]> offer.[/q1]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > I said it was provided that only Oxbridge use it, and have maximum offer A*AA = not that much[/q2]
[q2]> > pressure.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > I don't really agree with Danny that A Levels are elitist and that you can only get 90 if you[/q2]
[q2]> > are from a top public school. I got 9A*s from an extremely poor state school by putting in the[/q2]
[q2]> > work. At A Level in some cases the teachers aren't important - you can get 90+ by working hard.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > I'm surprised, I thought more people at the "top" would agree with me[/q2]
[q2]> > - I discussed this at school today with someone who's not only going to get AAAAA, but over 90%[/q2]
[q2]> > in all of them, but she disagreed abt A*s.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > I think the thread went immediately off-topic regarding elitism - my argument was that because[/q2]
[q2]> > UMS 80 = A, there is no distinction between someone that scrapes an A, maybe by an unexpected[/q2]
[q2]> > 100 on one paper and[/q2]
[q2]> > B/C in the rest, and one that has scored 95%+ consistently.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Although it sounds good in theory, but then why shouldn't we have[/q1]
categories
[q1]> in between all the other possible grades? Why should someone 1 mark below an E be marked as badly[/q1]
[q1]> as someone who didn't turn up? I think[/q1]
universities
[q1]> should be given actual marks instead of grades, or at least in addition[/q1]
to,
[q1]> so for borderline cases and so on they have more to go by. However, as[/q1]
far
[q1]> as I can tell, employers couldn't really care less if you got 80 or 100, under their eyes you have[/q1]
[q1]> "good" a-levels, and thats as much as it counts for, in borderline cases they'll look at other[/q1]
[q1]> things if a-level grades[/q1]
are
[q1]> at all similar. Or am I wrong?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

Depends on which employer. There has been so much grade inflation. If you compare the standard of
the old O-Level with the AS/A2 Level they seem very similiar.

They should abolish A-Level and switch to the IB.

[q1]> --[/q1]
[q1]> Alex Studders Greggers Brackets[/q1]
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Jhp
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#47
[q1]> Oxford and Cambridge, who have the *immense* privilege of being able to interview candidates at[/q1]
[q1]> some length, can think about making this sort of assessment, and they do. That's why I find it so[/q1]
[q1]> odd that people bleat[/q1]
about
[q1]> the interview process being elitist. It is precisely the interview[/q1]
process
[q1]> that gives us some chance of spotting the potential star from the non-star school.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Katy[/q1]

Oh sure, and we do as much of that as we can. I'm just pointing out that one person's rabid
unfairness is another person's equitability. John
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Jhp
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#48
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#48
[q1]> The comparatively sensible argument runs as follows: suppose you have two candidates, one of whom[/q1]
[q1]> has got AAB from an inner-city state school, and the other of whom has got AAB from Winchester.[/q1]
[q1]> /Then/, again as a generalization, the person who's got AAB from the inner-city state school[/q1]
[q1]> should be favoured over the person who's got AAB from Winchester.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The difference is that in this case the Winchester student has not performed as well as the[/q1]
[q1]> admissions tutor in question would like, given that he went to an extremely[/q1]
[q1]> good[-at-extracting-good-grades] school.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> It really pains me to see the idiot version.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Mark.[/q1]

Spot on in practice, too, Mark. Nicely put. John
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Richard Magrath
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#49
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#49
"JHP" <[email protected] t.co.uk> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > As for elitism, I think someone who gets AAB from a inner city state school should be favoured[/q2]
[q2]> > over someone with AAAAA from Winchester - as a generalisation the former has not been so[/q2]
[q2]> > "spoon-fed" and is likely to do better at degree level.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> On what basis, exactly? As an AT you would have to justify that decision n the face of parents and[/q1]
[q1]> head teachers who would point out that the inner-city applicant has not in fact demonstrated the[/q1]
[q1]> solid, certified achievement of the Wykehamist. This is not a moral argument but a practical one.[/q1]
[q1]> How would you argue it in the court? Your approach would require such detailed knowledge of each[/q1]
[q1]> state school that the whole system would founder under its own weight. You also have to remember[/q1]
[q1]> that ATs are not interested in fairness overall, but in ensuring that we select the applicants[/q1]
[q1]> best fitted at the time of entry to do well on our courses. John[/q1]

Isn't that what the interview system is for? Oxford and Cambridge hold up the "our interview methods
are mysterious and arcane, we *could* tell you how they work, but we would have to kill you" excuse
when they are accused of being biased against state school students, why not use it when being
accused of bias against indie school students?

BTW, on the subject of Oxford and Cambridge, I read in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago that
the universities were fretting because "they are in the peculiar position of having both state and
independant school pupils believe they are biased against them". Using my own school as an example,
I don't think that's true - sure, certain adults (parents, head of sixth form, etc.) will tell you
that there's a bias, but none of the students who want to apply to Oxbridge, or any of the teachers
with any knowledge of Oxbridge, consider there to be any such discrimination.

I'm just worried about the exam results! It turns out that my description of the purpose of
projected grades I gave someone here a few weeks ago was wrong, and you really do need the proper
grades! If I don't manage to get at least AAB, I'll seriously have to rearrange my UCAS choices
(which I've only just finalised). I'll be incredibly annoyed if I don't make it into a good uni -
I've worked hard since primary school and am finally looking forward to getting something out of it
for myself (i.e. a place at a nice uni), and to fall at the last hurdle (well, A2s I suppose would
be the last hurdle, but AS's would be more humiliating) would be so horribly awful...

Rich
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Davido
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[q1]> AAAAArgh! The idiot version of a comparatively sensible argument![/q1]

Sorry I wasn't really thinking, I wrote that in a rush. Looking back, AAAAA was far too much an
exaggeration. But I'd favour AAB inner city over AAB Winchester, or maybe an AAA Winchester kid.

As for evidence, there are numerous reports of how if there's a state school & a private school kid
with the same grades, the state school kid has a much better chance of getting a 1st / 2:1.

As for justification, how about this [stereotyped and generalised yes, but get the jist of it]:

Student who gets AAB from Terrible Inner City State School Although it's obviously more problematic
at GCSE level where many students are being forced to be at school, the following problems will
still be evident... Kid gets picked on for wishing to pursue academic excellence. Grade As mean
verbal abuse, unpopularity and maybe getting beaten up. Classes frequently disrupted by poor
behaviour [some stupid b**** in our AS level Maths class, if it wasn't for her we'd have actually
finished the syllabus. Her U in Maths came at the expense of another 10 Us by other pupils].
Teachers never check homework. Teacher attitude: "All you need is a Grade C and nothing more" -
quote from my D&T teacher. Little help with UCAS - most won't bother with uni. And no help with
Oxbridge interview from the school who've never had any students in the past applying there.
Orchestra & debating society do not exist.

Student who gets AAA from Winchester All friends have a positive attitude and motivate each other.
They love work. Academic excellence is encouraged and rewarded with prizes. Teachers show them
techniques and advice on pursuing the very best marks. And independent interviewer people come in
during the Oxbridge interviews period to teach them how to deal with interview technique. Also, the
opportunity for various extracurricular activities - cricket, rugby, debating society...

I would pick the AAB kid from the inner city school, with the justification that they have a greater
potential to achieve 1 / 2:1 at university, based on the fact that they've achieved good grades with
limited resources.

[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> To see how utterly wrong you are, suppose you're at Winchester, taking five A-levels. What more[/q1]
[q1]> can you do than get AAAAA? If the point's not yet home, suppose you're Albert Einstein, but you've[/q1]
[q1]> gone to Winchester. Meanwhile someone far less intelligent has gone to a state school. Naturally[/q1]
[q1]> you get straight As [1] - but you don't get in, because you've been "spoon-fed" and are obviously[/q1]
[q1]> likely to do worse at degree level.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The comparatively sensible argument runs as follows: suppose you have two candidates, one of whom[/q1]
[q1]> has got AAB from an inner-city state school, and the other of whom has got AAB from Winchester.[/q1]
[q1]> /Then/, again as a generalization, the person who's got AAB from the inner-city state school[/q1]
[q1]> should be favoured over the person who's got AAB from Winchester.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The difference is that in this case the Winchester student has not performed as well as the[/q1]
[q1]> admissions tutor in question would like, given that he went to an extremely[/q1]
[q1]> good[-at-extracting-good-grades] school.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> It really pains me to see the idiot version.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Mark.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> [1] Whether or not Einstein would have got straight As at A-level is of course irrelevant. I[/q1]
[q1]> understand, though, that he wasn't only good at physics and maths.[/q1]
He wouldn't have got in, he got expelled didn't he? :-P
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Becky Loader
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#51
"Davido" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q3]> > > I got 9 of them at GCSE you may think I would be all for it.[/q3]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Did you really? Good job you said: I absolutely needed that 35th[/q2]
mention of
[q2]> > it for it to finally sink in...[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Hahahahahaha. I need to catch up with Brian, I've only mentioned mine 15 times :-P but my AS[/q1]
[q1]> grades only once for some reason......[/q1]

Ah, then it's my fault: you've merged into a single entity, and so I apologise
unreservedly to Brian.

You're the one who's got a place at Oxford and doesn't like English examiners, right?

Becky
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Brackets
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#52
"Richard Magrath" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]> [email protected] (Davido) wrote in message[/q1]
news:<b74f6c67.0206150115.5fd8e9 [email protected]>...
[q3]> > > >But above about 90% - most of it is down to exam technique, and the[/q3]
way you
[q3]> > > >have been taught rather than your actual ability at the subject. Some[/q3]
people
[q3]> > > >who have perfect exam technique and get straight 100's are often not[/q3]
that
[q3]> > > >much cleverer than the people who get a random scatter of marks in[/q3]
the low
[q3]> > > >80's. So i think having an A* would mean too much emphasis would be[/q3]
placed
[q3]> > > >on how you are taught.[/q3]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > eesh ive caused a bit of a stir havent i, 40 posts in half a day.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > But looking at Rob Martin's comments I hate to say that makes perfect sense. As it is, instead[/q2]
[q2]> > of enjoying the books for AS Literature and getting B grades, I have spent the last week when[/q2]
[q2]> > doing my A Levels with a poster on my wall of the mark scheme, making sure I get all the[/q2]
[q2]> > "Assessment Objectives" that AQA require into my essay, and that I mathematically distribute my[/q2]
[q2]> > comments according to their respective weightings... This shows success at the top end has nowt[/q2]
[q2]> > to do with how good you are but how well you follow the system. However in Maths I think the[/q2]
[q2]> > higher you do the better you are.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> To extend that theory, I was going to suggest that the A* grade be awarded only for maths/science[/q1]
[q1]> subjects, or any other subject where there are definite right and wrong answers. A-levels as[/q1]
[q1]> English and, um, similar ones are just too subjective.[/q1]

Wouldn't that promote even more favouratism in favour (hmm.) of the science based subjects? An A in
English would be looked on as worse than an A* in maths, even though the marks were the same. Pupils
who wanted to get the best looking results would be forced to do science based subjects, since they
wouldn't be able to show off as well in the essay based ones.

--
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Brackets
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#53
"Danny" <[email protected]?.mo c> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]> On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 15:33:17 +0100, "Brackets" <[email protected] com> wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >"Danny" <[email protected]?.mo c> wrote in message[/q2]
[q2]> >news:[email protected]...[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >> On a final point, Elitism is also 'bad' by definition:[/q2]
[q2]> >>[/q2]
[q2]> >> "The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored[/q2]
[q2]> >> treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or[/q2]
[q2]> >> financial resources"[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >I think you'll find that our society is based on the premise that the[/q2]
more
[q2]> >you have to give to society (in our current example, intelligence[/q2]
(perhaps
[q2]> >for research purposes or whatever)), the better treatment you get (better education, more pay).[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >The word bad is not present in that definition.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Yes I do find it is, I'm not saying it's right though. The word bad is not in that definition but[/q1]
[q1]> are you saying people should get favoured treatment due to their social status, financial[/q1]
[q1]> resources etc? I think this is a bad thing. Ideally we should live in a more meritocratic sociey.[/q1]

Yes, exactly my point. People who do well, get more benefit. Thats why people who get higher grades,
should get into the better universities, because, at least ideally, they are more intelligent, or
have more "intellect" as that definition puts it.

I'm saying people should get favoured treatment because of their intelligence, and therefore,
universities are, and should be, elitist.

--
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Mark Thakkar
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Danny,

[q1]> Ideally we should live in a more meritocratic sociey.[/q1]

But that's precisely what elitism is in this context - trying to choose the best people "for the
job", irrespective of any other characteristics they may or may not have, is by definition
meritocratic. In an academic context, "best" means roughly "most academically able and suited to
the course".

Mark.
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Jhp
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Danny <[email protected]?.mo c> wrote in message
news33kgugt0583v60slfb21q5v31rlfm6eb [email protected]...
[q1]> On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 16:19:41 +0100, Chris Share <[email protected] > wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]> >Elitism at uni is not bad, it's bloody necessary. As long as it's the right sort - elitism based[/q2]
[q2]> >on wealth etc is bad, but based on intelligence, ability etc is needed. You think that Cambridge[/q2]
[q2]> >should admit people with Ds at A-level, just because otherwise it'd be discrimination? That'd be[/q2]
[q2]> >just moronic.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >chris[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Obviously not Ds [/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I sympathise with both sides of the argument. All I'm saying is give people a chance who get[/q1]
[q1]> slightly lower grades, don't let grades be the be all and end all. I fear that if A*s were[/q1]
[q1]> introduced, this situation would become more likely.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Dan[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
But that's exactly how it works -there is flexibility. The problem at the moment is that everybody
applying to us has zillions of As. It's all become devalued. John
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#56
"Stuart Williams" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]> In article <[email protected]>,[/q1]
[q1]> [email protected] .co.uk says...[/q1]
[q2]> > The alternative (which we've explored here on occasion is to have fully discounted system where[/q2]
[q2]> > we admit n some specious unmeasured[/q2]
estimate
[q2]> > of 'potential'. That's not what universities are about. We are not responsible for the school[/q2]
[q2]> > system; we have enough trouble maintaining academic standards in our own institutions. John[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> This is not offered in any confrontational way, but I couldn't disagree more profoundly: the[/q1]
[q1]> universities do drive the school system at 16+ in a way which is all-pervasive. Is there anyone on[/q1]
[q1]> this group who thinks that universities are /not/ in effect responsible for the school system?[/q1]

(I don't actually have any idea, but) Surely since the majority of students don't go to university,
the school system is in no way geared to universities?

[q1]> I agree that A levels have been watered down to the point that they are not a particularly good[/q1]
[q1]> discriminator at the A/B level - so why don't you start setting your own tests? - (a much more[/q1]
[q1]> productive use of Open Days than just meeting the lecturers and looking at the facilities, IMHO).[/q1]

Yay! More Exams! Just what we need.

--
Alex Studders Greggers Brackets
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Jhp
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#57
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#57
Stuart Williams <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]> In article <[email protected]>,[/q1]
[q1]> [email protected] .co.uk says...[/q1]
[q2]> > The alternative (which we've explored here on occasion is to have fully discounted system where[/q2]
[q2]> > we admit n some specious unmeasured[/q2]
estimate
[q2]> > of 'potential'. That's not what universities are about. We are not responsible for the school[/q2]
[q2]> > system; we have enough trouble maintaining academic standards in our own institutions. John[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> This is not offered in any confrontational way, but I couldn't disagree more profoundly: the[/q1]
[q1]> universities do drive the school system at 16+ in a way which is all-pervasive. Is there anyone on[/q1]
[q1]> this group who thinks that universities are /not/ in effect responsible for the school system?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I agree that A levels have been watered down to the point that they are not a particularly good[/q1]
[q1]> discriminator at the A/B level - so why don't you start setting your own tests? - (a much more[/q1]
[q1]> productive use of Open Days than just meeting the lecturers and looking at the facilities, IMHO).[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> SW[/q1]
Well, what I mean is that we are semiiindendent bodies. We don't set any element of policy for
schools and to a very large extent we just respond to whatever the school system puts out. I don't
see how the uneievrsoities have a schoolward effect on *policy* although of course I accept that in
many respects of detail the schools have to respond to what we want, for example in the case of
apporpriate subjcets for enty to a particular course.

We simply can't set our own tests because we would come under intolerable pressure from schools to
accept the standards of A levels. Who is controlling whom, here? :>)

John
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Jhp
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#58
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#58
ath <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
[q1]> I didn't bring into it the individual skills of the person in question, if that were the case[/q1]
[q1]> everyone would be examined on their individual merits rather than being thrust into a 'one size[/q1]
[q1]> fits all system'. I don't underestimate the skills needed, you read background material, you read[/q1]
the
[q1]> broadsheets and you watch the news: you get a decent grade in Politics.[/q1]
In
[q1]> Physics or Chemistry you can get tricky application questions which[/q1]
require
[q1]> specific and precise recall of information and then the use of that in a situation that may be[/q1]
[q1]> different from the one you first encountered it in. In Politics, and in most essay subjects[/q1]
[q1]> apart from el, you can apply the knowledge to a question that does not have to be to the same[/q1]
[q1]> accuracy to[/q1]
get
[q1]> a comparable mark.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "JHP" <[email protected] t.co.uk> wrote in message[/q1]
[q1]> news:[email protected]...[/q1]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > ath <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...[/q2]
[q3]> > > There's enough of a disrimination in the actual A-Level the person is doing... wouldn't you[/q3]
[q3]> > > rate an A in Physics or Chemistry higher than an[/q3]
A
[q2]> > in[/q2]
[q3]> > > Politics or in Business Studies? Most universities have specific[/q3]
[q1]> subject[/q1]
[q3]> > > requirements and they seem to... I do Politics to give me some relief[/q3]
[q2]> > from[/q2]
[q3]> > > my other sciences and to be blunt its simple compared to Physics or Chemistry... ath[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q2]> > What tendentious nonsense. You underestimate the skills of expression[/q2]
[q1]> needed[/q1]
[q2]> > in Politics, for example, which are badly underdevelopod in ppl who have done excuslively[/q2]
[q2]> > science subjects. I would guess that you are mistaking information content for development and[/q2]
[q2]> > critical ability. John[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
I would place more value on the skills of interpretation and criticality than in the 'recall and
apply' form you are describing in Chemistry. (Could you reply at the bottom of posts, please)

John
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Very Wise
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#59
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#59
"JHP" <[email protected] t.co.uk> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Danny <[email protected]?.mo c> wrote in message[/q1]
[q1]> news:[email protected]...[/q1]
[q2]> > On 14 Jun 2002 14:36:27 -0700, [email protected] (Davido) wrote:[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q3]> > >> > An A* grade at A-level might over-pressure some students - just imagine trying to meet an[/q3]
[q3]> > >> > A*A*A*[/q3]
[q1]> offer.[/q1]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > >I said it was provided that only Oxbridge use it, and have maximum offer A*AA = not that much[/q3]
[q3]> > >pressure.[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > >I don't really agree with Danny that A Levels are elitist and that you can only get 90 if you[/q3]
[q3]> > >are from a top public school. I got 9A*s from an extremely poor state school by putting in the[/q3]
[q3]> > >work. At A Level in some cases the teachers aren't important - you can get 90+ by working hard.[/q3]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > No but the chances are much higher if you are from a public school. I forgot who but someone[/q2]
[q2]> > earlier was talking about getting the right (most intelligent) people into the best jobs.[/q2]
[q2]> > Howcomes the 'best' people (those at Oxbridge) are mostly from the highest social classes? It's[/q2]
[q2]> > not because upper class people are more intelligent, but because they are given a better[/q2]
[q2]> > opportunity to get the best they can. This is hardly getting the best suited people to the best[/q2]
[q2]> > jobs. I bet there are so many people who are doing **** jobs now who would make excellent[/q2]
[q2]> > teachers, for example. I'm not sure who's problem it is to be honest. All I know is that's it's[/q2]
[q2]> > a very complicated one and not as simple and straightforward as 'the education system is[/q2]
[q2]> > elitist, and that's the only way, so get over it'.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Dan[/q2]
[q1]> But the problem lies more in the school system than at universities. Compared wit the inevitable[/q1]
[q1]> tiny amount of 'old boyism' etc at[/q1]
universities
[q1]> the disparity of opportunity at the school stage is bizarre, and yet[/q1]
Oxford
[q1]> (for whom I have little love, by the way) is consistently accused of selectivity where none[/q1]
[q1]> exists. The fundamental problem for ATs is how[/q1]
much
[q1]> are we prepared to weigh potential unrealised because of disadvantage against solid exam results,[/q1]
[q1]> even if we were not bound by the strait jacket of league tables. John[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
A-LEVEL EXAM ARE A LOTTERY. PROFFESOR DYLAN KING AND KINGS COLLEGE SAID THIS A FEW YEARS AGO.

ABOLSIH A-LEVELS. BRING IN THE IB.
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Becky Loader
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#60
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#60
"Davido" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q2]> > AAAAArgh! The idiot version of a comparatively sensible argument![/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Sorry I wasn't really thinking, I wrote that in a rush. Looking back, AAAAA was far too much an[/q1]
[q1]> exaggeration. But I'd favour AAB inner city over AAB Winchester, or maybe an AAA Winchester kid.[/q1]

But an AAA Winchester kid still won't have 'maxed out'; he might have been capable of the same
grades at a state school or of getting /more/ A grades if he'd so chosen (and, tbh, 3 /is/ all you
need do). AAB Winchester pupil will have shown his limit in one area and is probably more limited
therefore, considering the greater resources, than the pupil from the inner city comp.

Becky
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