Thu 5 February 2009, The Independent

Trevor Fisher: A storm is brewing over effort to reform A-levels

By Trevor Fisher
The reform of A-level, being attempted for the second time in a decade, raises serious questions. The first attempt, called Curriculum 2000, led to front-page headlines at the start and sustained criticism. The changes broke the A-level into modules and introduced AS exams, but led to complaints about the number of exams students were doing, and the number of A grades they achieved. Top universities complained that the task of identifying truly able students was becoming impossible. Twenty-five per cent of A-level students now achieve at least one A grade, and 10 per cent gain the former gold standard of three A grades. Grade inflation is alleged and complaints about "hard" and "soft" subjects proliferate.
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