Exam board AQA to pay out £1.1m over rule breaches and errors 

The exam board AQA is to pay more than £1.1m in fines and compensation for a string of rule breaches, errors and failings in GCSEs and A-levels that regulators said could seriously undermine public confidence in the qualifications system.Ofqual, which oversees school exams in England, said it had levied its largest ever fine on AQA after 50,000 appeals for exam papers to be reviewed or re-marked, spread across three years between 2016 and 2018, were carried out by AQA staff who had already marked the same papers. Source: The Guardian

Indian students wear boxes on their heads to prevent cheating

A school in India has apologized after photos emerged of students wearing cardboard boxes on their heads during an exam to discourage cheating.The Bhagat Pre-University College in Haveri, in India’s southwestern Karnataka state, implemented a trial run of the new measure last Wednesday, according to school management head M.B. Sateesh. A staff member photographed the students sitting in neat rows, their heads obscured by cardboard boxes.The front of the boxes had been cut out, allowing students to see their desks and exam sheets but restricting their vision, similar to blinkers used on a horse Source: CNN

Record number of colleges drop SAT/ACT admissions requirements amid growing disenchantment with standardized tests

It may not quite have reached a tipping point, but the admissions world is clearly grappling with the use of standardized tests in admissions.Research has consistently shown that ACT and SAT scores are strongly linked to family income, mother’s education level and race. The College Board and ACT Inc., which owns the ACT, say their tests are predictive of college success, but (as with many education issues) there is also research showing otherwise.The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, a nonprofit known as FairTest, just analyzed SAT scores for the high school class of 2019. It reported that the…

India’s high-stakes testing culture needs to be dismantled

Every exam season, this phrase can be singularly responsible for hope, despair, dread or celebration among test takers in India. Test taking is serious business, and much like weddings, it is a matter of substantial family pride. A transcript, called a marksheet in India,  can determine whether one’s parents will be calling the neighbors to boast about their child’s success, or turning their phones off and avoiding social contact.The Indian exam system has become a catalyst for social mobility, and—depending on results—the tests can offer the hope of a bright future. This, in turn, ratchets up the tests’ stakes, and…

Developing capacity in formative assessment

ACER designed and facilitated a NEQMAP workshop to build formative assessment capacity in education systems in the Asia-Pacific. Doug McCurry and Stewart Monckton report.A consortium of high-level education policymakers, researchers, government and non-government agencies collaborated to present the Network on Education Quality Monitoring in Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP) Capacity Development Workshop in late June in Bandung, Indonesia. The four-day workshop centred on the theme ‘School-based, Classroom, Teacher and Formative Assessment – Assessment for Learning’.There was a great demand to participate in the workshop. Forty five participants from 14 countries in the region were selected by the NEQMAP Secretariat through an expression of…

News from the 45th annual conference

IAEA president: This conference is an opportunity to exchange ideas about different advances in the field of education and educational assessment, and to learn from one other, IAEA President Randy Bennett has told journalists. “I think this conference is important one certainly for the International Association of Educational Assessment. Because it allows our members to learn about education and educational assessment in Azerbaijan as well as other countries in the region and other countries throughout the world,” IAEA president said. “My expectations from the conference are that we will have a number of very important presentations by different delegates from…

UP to upgrade secondary school exam system with AI to make education corruption-free

The Uttar Pradesh government is planning to upgrade the examination system for secondary school education by using Artificial Intelligence AI-bots.With AI-bots installed in Uttar Pradesh schools, the system will be able to track proxy invigilators and students besides the performance of an individual student based on his previous grades, participation and performance.Such experiments in various schools, especially in Andhra Pradesh, is proof of AI working as a catalyst in streamlining the education system and helping institutions make better decisions.Implementing AI on such a large scale would help in fixing the loopholes in the current system. Source: India Today

Should a Single Test Decide a 4-Year-Old’s Educational Future?

To get into a gifted and talented elementary school program in New York City, children must ace a single, high-stakes exam — when they are 4 years old. This admissions process is now a flash point in an escalating debate over how to desegregate the largest school district in the United States. Although New York’s school district has mostly black and Hispanic students, the city’s gifted classes are made up of about three-quarters white and Asian students. Experts say the single-exam admissions process for such young children is an extremely unusual practice that may be the only one of its…

Even more tests for most tested children in the world

This September, a pilot of new baseline assessment for four-year-olds will be introduced in almost 10,000 primary schools in the UK. This baseline will test children within the first six weeks of starting school and will be used to measure the effectiveness of the school by identifying progress made seven years later when the child leaves primary education. Source: The Conversation