Saturday, November 3, 2007

Too much testing "harms primary school pupils"

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor Last Updated: 2:18am GMT 02/11/2007 The repeated testing of young children is seriously undermining their education, a major study reports. Hours spent drilling pupils increases "anxiety and stress", narrows the curriculum and has limited impact on standards, it is claimed. Children aged 11 spend almost three weeks practising and sitting tests in their final year of primary school in England — while teachers waste five weeks preparing exams. Despite claims that children are brighter than ever, researchers said the system of high-stakes tests had "exaggerated" pupils' progress, with up to a third given the wrong grades. In a damning conclusion, the report says £500 million spent on Labour's National Literacy Strategy had been wasted as children's ability to read was no better than the 1950s. The findings are part of a two-year inquiry — led by Cambridge University — into the state of English primary schools.;jsessionid=HMO4SOEEERATRQFIQMFSFFWAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/11/02/nschools102.xml

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