Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Vote of no confidence for ETS?

The Daily Mail reports that the testing firm at the centre of the SATs marking fiasco has been stripped of its responsibility for checking disputed results. England's exams quango stepped in to take over re-marking from ETS Europe - a move which has been interpreted by teachers' leaders as a vote of no confidence.
Less than a week ago, Children's Secretary Ed Balls, said the quality of marking was at least as good as in previous years. But critics said the National Assessment Agency's intervention betrayed a fear that this year's marking was not up to scratch .

The U.S. firm was given a £156million contract to run the national testing system. It has already been told it faces fines and a termination of its five-year deal, after thousands of results were delayed, missing or incorrect. About one in six teenagers still does not have English test results.

John Bangs, head of education at the National Union of Teachers, said: 'This is a massive vote of no confidence in ETS. The contract cannot reform itself. They can't even be trusted with re-marking. This is also the first time a Government agency has indicated, tacitly, that there's a question over the quality of marking. They wouldn't take away remarking if they didn't have anxiety about the quality.'

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