Exam textbooks promote culture of ‘teaching to the test’

Examiners are promoting a culture of “teaching to the test” by endorsing their own textbooks in schools, the Government has warned, and exam boards may be guilty of a ‘conflict of interest’. This is from the Telegraph…

Major exam boards may be guilty of a “conflict of interest” after selling advice guides to schools while also setting objective test papers, it was claimed.

The comments by the Department for Education come just weeks before the official qualifications watchdog prepares to publish new regulations surrounding the publication of textbooks and other study aids.

It is thought the “action plan” by Ofqual could result in restictions being imposed on examination boards that currently endorse their own guides.

The watchdog has already intervened to crack down on face-to-face seminars for teachers.

It has effectively banned training sessions related to existing qualifications from September 2013 after a Daily Telegraph investigation found evidence of examiners revealing the exact wording that pupils should use to obtain higher marks.

In a document published on Monday, the Department for Education endorsed Ofqual’s action, saying that “too much information about future examinations has been shared at some of these events”.

It also suggested that similar rules may be needed to regulate textbooks.

“We have concerns about the links between awarding organisations and the publication of textbooks,” the Government said.

“There are, for example, conflicts of interest inherent in the current arrangements and textbooks can encourage teaching to the test. These are complex issues which have both a regulatory and policy dimension.

“We look forward to the outcome of Ofqual’s review of these issues.”

Ofqual will publish a report in coming weeks on the “health” of the qualifications market.

More at:  Exam textbooks promote culture of ‘teaching to the test’

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