A level standards up and down

Anticipating the August ritual of handwringing about A level results Peter Wilby provides a well argued antidote in the Guardian. He rightly highlights the problems associated with making meaningful judgements about standards over time and the absurd nature of newspaper reports on the topic. However, whilst it is reasonable to argue that A levels can be viewed as a rationing system for universities I don’t think it really follows therefore that:

A-levels now sort out the top 30% or 40% who should go on to higher education. If we decide that 60% should proceed, the numbers who pass and achieve high grades will rise accordingly.

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