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ERIC Number: EJ896477
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0963-8253
The Death of Meritocracy: Exams and University Admissions in Crisis
Fisher, Trevor
FORUM: for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education, v52 n2 p213-232 2010
The author argues that the debate on declining social mobility has neglected the role of the examination and testing system. At all levels of education working class children are failing and middle class children achieving whatever ability levels are involved. The article focusses on the A-Level examination and the controversy over the way the expansion of higher education has benefited the middle classes. The author argues the expansion of higher education in the 1980s and changes to examinations benefited the middle class. Further, new Labour reforms of A-Level, and 16-plus examinations to include vocational subjects, paradoxically undermined their own desire for meritocracy. Coupled with wider changes, notably tuition fees and the power of elite universities to control their admissions policies to favour the privileged, A-Level reform threatens to turn higher education back to the "Brideshead Revisited" state of affairs of the 1930s. (Contains 2 tables and 29 notes.)
Symposium Books. P.O. Box 204, Didcot, Oxford, OX11 9ZQ, UK. Tel: +44-1235-818-062; Fax: +44-1235-817-275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom