‘Single Level Tests’ … why?

The BBC report that the ‘single level tests’ proposed and abandoned for KS3 had only a 1 in 5 pass rate.  And in primary   …  schools, 65% passed the first trial tests, which also covered reading and writing. Papers were made easier for the next pilot, prompting “dumbing down” fears … and amazingly enough … Following the changes the pass rate among primary school children rose in June from 65% to 88%.  

John Dunford, head of the Association of School and College Leaders, said : They have wisely not proceeded with the single level tests at Key Stage 3 and it would be sensible to abolish the same idea at Key Stage 2. It will lead to more teaching for the test and create a constant focus on testing rather than on what should be learnt.

My questions are ‘Do we really need these tests at all?’ and ‘How much time, effort and money as well as angst has gone into not enhancing teaching and learning but merely making a woeful attempt to measure it ?’

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