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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
New British Test Reviled
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0242  Tuesday, 11 February 2003

[1]     From:   Thomas Larque <
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        Date:   Saturday, 8 Feb 2003 11:17:41 -0000
        Subj:   New British Test Reviled

[2]     From:   Al Magary <
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        Date:   Saturday, 8 Feb 2003 23:41:21 -0800
        Subj:   UK's Shakespeare exam doesn't bother with the play


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <
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Date:           Saturday, 8 Feb 2003 11:17:41 -0000
Subject:        New British Test Reviled

See http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,891418,00.html

Headline and first paragraph reads:

"Teachers urge boycott of test

Protest against 'dumbing down' of Shakespeare exam
Rebecca Smithers, education correspondent
Saturday February 8, 2003
The Guardian

Teachers are threatening a national boycott of a new Shakespeare test
for 14-year- olds, after it emerged that more than half the marks will
be awarded without youngsters having to read any of the Bard's plays."

Thomas Larque.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Magary <
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 >
Date:           Saturday, 8 Feb 2003 23:41:21 -0800
Subject:        UK's Shakespeare exam doesn't bother with the plays

Shakespeare exam 'dumbed down'

BBC, February 7, 2003

Pupils will be able to gain more than half marks in a new test on
Shakespeare without having to read any of his plays.

The national curriculum paper for 14 year olds, which previously
involved a single 75-minute essay question, has been split into two.

A section worth 20 marks will now assess writing skills, loosely based
on a play but not requiring a reading.

A second section, with 18 marks available, will concentrate on "reading
and understanding" a text.
...
The QCA states that, for the first section, pupils must be "only
assessed for writing - not for understanding of the play".

In one sample test, pupils are asked to write a piece on "People We
Admire".

The reason given is that Henry V, one of Shakespeare's best-known
characters, is himself seen as admirable. But no further reference is
made to the play.

Complete story at:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/features/2735997.stm

A sidebar of other news of the bard indicates he's not doing that well
in his home country, with these headlines: Shakespeare gets
handier...Big Brother helps with Shakespeare...Pupils study the wrong
Shakespeare...Non-Shakespeare English move denied...Shakespeare 'as
relevant' as soaps...

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