The Norwegian Data Authority (NDA) has concluded the method used by the IB to calculate students’ final grades in 2020 was not accurate. As such, the NDA has sent notification they intend to order a re-do of the awarding of grades. (See entire NDA statement)
If you missed ISR’s previous Newsletter, the controversy over the IB grading system erupted after the IB cancelled final exams and, instead, calculated final grades based on the following 3 criteria: Historical data, Teacher-predicted final test score, and Coursework.
“Unfair, inaccurate and obscure” is how the Norwegian Data Authority described the IB scoring system. A brief look at the 3 components of the assessment system reveals subjectivity and room for error:
Historical Data: Relying on the final test scores of students previously at a particular school as a means to predicting the performance of current and future students fails to take into account the abilities of the individual, and rewards poorer students while penalizing harder-working students. With college acceptance at top universities contingent on final grades, many students have had their college dreams shattered due to a lowering of expected grades.
Teacher-Predicted Grade: Teacher bias, prejudice, and a shaded view of students whose behavior may be less than stellar can easily influence a prediction.
Coursework: Using coursework as a means to estimate final scores is not a problem for those students earning 100% on all assignments. The system fails to work for students with lesser coursework results who may still still score high on the final exam.
As with any controversy, there are two opposing camps regarding the IB’s actions.
Get over it:
Yes, getting a lower score than expected may mean students not getting into the university of choice. It won’t affect their careers, though.
Sounds like pushy parents who are used to getting their way and not respecting their children’s limitations. They’ve probably prided themselves on years of inflated grades in their children’s report cards. Not everybody can get a special sticker.
An injustice has been done:
So its fine for a student who has worked for 4+ years to get into a university of their choice and to have their higher education plans scuttled by a large, for-profit organisation who couldn’t really care? The parents might disagree with you but what the hell, they’re just pushy, entitled, helicopter parents, right? While I agree it might not impact their careers as much as they think, who are you to pontificate on their futures?
While there are always complainers, tell me in what logical world it’s reasonable to base an individual student’s score on the school’s historical data? The IB, as it so often does, is being disingenuous and needs to own up to its inadequacy here and rectify the problem.
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