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Results Day Request

Results Day Request

This is only a short blog post but it covers a very important issue

Right so today was my results day for some of my AS re sits and for some A2 modules. It technically started around 2 o clock yesterday for me and a couple of friends. Our history teacher, like all other departments, already had our results. He relented to giving them to us that day instead of today because other departments had done so (just to say this is definately not allowed and apparently there is rumours that a teacher at my school has been reported by about 10 other teachers and might get in some serious trouble). He took us individually out of the class privately one by one. A lot of us were nervous, I was just un sure about whether I actually wanted to know yet. Anyway, the first person went out. About 5 seconds after leaving the room, our teacher came back in and quickly ussured one of the girls friends out as we heard her basically bawling her eyes out. And so it had begun. This friend of hers also started crying. And so it had begun. I personally found out that I had gotten exactly the same grade but less actual marks, which means instead of improving I had actually done worse. Now, I largely knew this was going to happen, and predicted it from day one, and I largely could not care, but the sheer emotion of that lesson, and much of today, which included anger, dissapointment, hopelessness etc just got me thinking about how fucking bad standarized testing is. The amount of stress, pressure it can put people under is gigantic and really is not helped by problems at home. It was terrible hearing my friends say things like "Im fucked now", and talk about their 'futures' being down the drain.

Now I could go on about what being successful is, how peoples "futures" are always about jobs and not self fullfillment and happyness, but that I do not think would be helpful. The main thing I wanted to ask was if anyone can link me any articles against standardized testing, prefferably from a radical perspective.

Posted By

Croy
Mar 8 2012 21:31

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Joseph Kay
Mar 8 2012 21:37

Not at college level, but Ed Goddard's pamphlet on student struggles at Sussex Uni in the 1970s has a section on assessment boycotts:

Ed Goddard wrote:
As Unionews (the student union’s newspaper) reported, “Discussions were held during the three days of the [MIS] exam, on the course and assessment in general” and common demands were formulated by the boycotters. These were:

1.The ending of all assessment
2.The right to do collective work
3.No three hour papers
4.Reduction of units assessed

Also, hope it's not too bad if you were expecting it?

Choccy
Mar 8 2012 21:49

I've written on assessment as social control based more on secondary schools.

and Harry Cleaver's On Schoolwork and the Struggle Against It is really good, more uni based, but there'll be something in both of relevance to you

wojtek
Mar 9 2012 00:00

I can't, but what I can offer is the knowledge that if you fuck up at AS or A2 your classmates are not alone and it certainly DOES NOT mean the end of the world!! Teachers at my school(s) or sixth form/ college constantly told me that it does (or words to that effect), that it's really important for your CV, your future academic career, job, etc. but it doesn't. This can lead to in my personal experience (even at university) lashing out, feelings of worthlessness, stress, eating disorders, being in floods of tears, dropping out, self harm, etc., etc. In essence, I really think this uber competitive, dog-eat-dog culture is BS.

PS. The conclusion I've made is that work ethic/ ambition means sweet eff all by itself, but once you find something you're passionate about (and it can take a while to do so) then you should grab it with both hands. Personally, I've not found that something yet, but self-worth shouldn't primarily come from what job you happen do to or whatever, it should come from your relationships with your partner, friends and/ or family. At the moment, I take heart from this blog post:

http://ruthlessculture.com/2011/12/03/its-probably-okay-not-to-have-any-ambition/

x

Croy
Mar 9 2012 07:26

Add alcoholism to that list wojtek, too many people were just like "welllll im getting fucked tonight", mostly in jokey way but I know we would all want to. Again, Im not straight edge, enjoy a drink etc etc but if we are going to drink every time we have a problem or something fucks up, its a bit worrying.

Steven.
Mar 9 2012 11:46

Yeah, I'm sorry about that but as other people say I wouldn't worry. The only academic requirements I've ever had the jobs I have done were for things like A-C grade at GCSE English and maths, and that's it.

The only thing A-levels matter for really is University admission, and that doesn't matter for all of them anyway (and unless you're going to be doing something academic/very specific I don't think a degree matters either)

Fleur
Mar 9 2012 18:51

I remember the appalling pressure on me and my friends when I was your age and the feeling that the whole world would implode if we didn't get the grades we wanted, but the reality has been that I've never been asked to show my qualifications to anyone at any time. I didn't even pick up my degree certificate, I only tracked it down years later because I thought I needed it for immigration purposes, but no-one bothered looking at it then. I agree with Wojtek that your A level, or whatever they're called now, grades do not matter a fuck once you get out of the school system and they're certainly not something to diminish your self worth over.
Anyway, try not to let yourself get too stressed out about it, I know this system of pointless testing sucks but what grades you get now is NOT going to make the difference between ultimate fulfilment or a lifetime of misery, despite what you lead to believe.