Maths tests becoming less rigorous

The Telegraph reports on a new study by Reform which demonstrates that academic standards in maths have been falling in recent decades:

"GCSEs are "considerably" easier than tests sat 50 years ago as questions are simplified to make them more relevant to modern teenagers, it said.

Reform, an independent think tank, said the traditional emphasis on algebra, arithmetic and geometry has been dropped in favour of questions focusing on real-life situations. It added that pupils can now gain a good grade with fewer than half the marks needed in 1990.

Reform also claimed that the lack of rigour has led to fewer students studying maths at sixth-form and university – leaving the British economy vulnerable to competition from China and India."

Mathematics is so vital to such a range of disciplines and high value added industries, from engineering to the City, that we would be mad not to take such criticisms very seriously.  In light of that, the NUT trying to lash out at the messenger and the Minister blaming 'culture' is deeply dissapointing.

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