Todays teenagers more literate


Teenagers are more literate than they were ten years ago, research suggests.
They are using better punctuation, more complicated sentences and better spelling in their exams, according to University of Cambridge researchers.

A study of GCSE papers from 1994 and 2004 suggested they have a wider vocabulary, although they use more slang and informal language.

Despite improving grades, employers' groups still say school leavers lack adequate skills, including literacy.

But the Cambridge researchers believe they have identified a long-term trend towards improved writing, which has not yet filtered through to the jobs market
Deer Dr Ron McLone ,

u r havin it larg wiv a larf an a haf innit.

MPs criticised Dr Ron McLone, chief executive of the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA examinations board, who - fearing pass rates would appear out of step with previous years - changed grade boundaries in 18 individual A-level units taken by almost 10,000 candidates.

After a review of 350,000 papers across all three exam boards only OCR - favoured by fee-paying and grammar schools - was forced to issue improved grades.

The debacle claimed the job of authority chairman Sir William Stubbs and contributed to the resignation of Education Secretary Estelle Morris.

The boards were accused of moving the goalposts at the eleventh hour by significantly raising the mark required for each grade. Mr Porkess has now revealed the staggering fact that Mr Tomlinson did not obtain from the boards all available information to work through this statistical maze. Instead, he based his inquiry on an assertion by the OCR chief executive Ron McLone – the person who was most in the frame for alleged misconduct.

According to Mr Porkess, Mr Tomlinson accepted on face value Dr McLone’s claim that, in the past, the board had typically adjusted A-level grade boundaries by five to six marks. As a result, he confined his inquiry to those results where the grade had been raised by six marks or more.

But according to Mr Porkess, such a huge rise was not typical at all. It was simply unprecedented. Grades wouldn’t normally rise by more than one mark.
A-level scandal is not only incompetence, but also deceit
By Daniel Johnson
(Filed: 20/09/2002)

Estelle Morris, the Education Secretary, said yesterday that she takes "full responsibility" for maintaining "robust" A-levels: "The buck does stop at my door." If she was complicit in the destruction of public confidence in the A-level, then she should resign now. If not, then she was at the very least grossly negligent. This scandal, however, is about much more than the fate of one minister.

What has happened is not merely grade inflation or dumbing down. It is deceit. When Dr Ron McLone, who runs Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR), admitted that he had reduced the marks awarded by his own examiners in order to avoid the impression of grade inflation, he was dropping the equivalent of a nuclear bomb into the cosy education establishment.

His confession revealed not only the academic, but also the moral, bankruptcy of the system. The work of any individual student, however good or bad, no longer matters to the authorities, so long as the overall statistic fits the political requirements of the day.

This has to be an academic Waaaaaaah. It would be laughable, if it wasn't so damn serious.


I would like to present soldiergirl and mogz as a prime example of the illiteracy of today’s teenagers.
After reading some of the posts on the Junior Board you get left with a rather different opinion than Dr Mclone has.
This country gets a bit more like 1984 every day!

The Iraqi Minister of Information has clearly been parachuted into deepest Whitehall.

Teenagers nowadays use the written word more than they would have done ten years ago (text messaging, email, the electroweb). They just don't always use it correctly.

That may change the statistics somewhat - these people (mogz, soldiersgirl) wouldn't have read/written* at all ten years ago.

Bear in mind that ten years ago (my schooldays), grammar wasn't really taught (it wasn't until I started learning latin that people started talking about nominative, accusative and dative cases etc, and I had to face the fact that I was trying to learn grammatical formations in other languages that I did not know in my own), and literacy was taking a back seat in schools.

Chuck in Posh spice (who admitted that she's never read a book FFS), another member of my generation and I can quite happily believe this.

*outside of formal education

edited coz ay mist a poynt
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
M The NAAFI Bar 1
Berlin_104s Finance, Property, Law 12
C Officers 67

Similar threads

Latest Threads