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Tuesday 01-Mar-2016
真。自我增值

你有聽過這種說法嗎?「拔萃喇沙做到名校成績彪炳,是因為他們本身收的學生強,畢業生自然都強,名校皇朝就這樣世代相傳。」又有人說「名校就是有能力將本身能力高的學生再提升至另一層次,是其他學校做不到的。」無論哪種說法都好,家長對名校有種憧憬,催谷學生學這學那,音樂、戲劇、運動,多元發展為子女「增值」,就是為擠身名校之列。


 
在這名校增值迷思之中,英國學校似乎開僻了一種新思維。增值(Value-added)一詞亦在寄宿校之間有一新定義。


 
排名龍虎榜
 
以往在英國選校,通常只看National Performance Tables (簡稱排行榜)。排行榜只顯示學校成績,當初由保守派議員倡議創辦,並希望家長選校時可以以此作標準。雖然看似簡單,一比較成績就知誰高誰低,但其可信性一直備受質疑。而A-levels出現後,學校更為了爬上排行榜的高位,將大量資源投放在成績好的學生上,讓他們拉高學校整體表現,並穩坐排行榜首位。學校也有不同方法包裝成績表現:A-C比例、A/B比例、A*和A比例,甚至是最佳進步成績達至3A比例。


 
「增」新標準
 
排行榜之後,Value-added增值一詞漸漸浮面。一聽增值二字,不少爸媽直接聯想到「課外學習。我兒仔懂德文法文、會打木球Cricket、也懂吹長笛彈Harpsichord。增值嘛!我知道。」非也。在英國的標準,「增值」代表學校為學生提升了多少價值。實際來說,學生入學時,學校會預計他們的GCSE/A-level(key stage 2)成績,而預計成績和實際成績之間的差別,就是所謂「增值」了。


 
學生的增值是有客觀分數的,中位數通常是1000分,而分數是於同能力水平的學生之間比較,高過1000分即代表學校較擅於提升學生能力。簡而言之,學生入讀Value-added分數高的學校能令他們成績進步。家長除了排行榜外,亦應多加參考Value-added榜,就能知道一些「名校」是否真的因為學校能力而得其名,而非全靠學生自身能力。


 
潛在問題
 
當然,凡事都有正反兩方。Value-added也有一些潛在問題。


 
首先,Value-Added未必能夠全面反映學校為學生學習帶來的影響。一些向來成績優異的傳統名校,學生的預測分數本來已高,與實際考出來的成績差異則不會太大,本來預測A*最後拿到A*,這不代表學生沒有進步,只是Value-added較難反映,使這些學校的Value-added成績不太傑出。加入Value-Added的元素後,本來在排行榜名列前茅的學校可能就會受到衝擊。


 
反過來說,成績本來平平無奇的學校,如果能夠提升學生的整體成績,則有可能在Value-added榜上反超前名校。


 
另外,有些私立學校沒參與SATS,情況類似一些頂級名校如Harrow和Eton沒有參加排行榜一樣。但沒有參加不代表表現不好。換句話說,Value-Added帶出一種嶄新的評核方式,卻暫時未受廣範應用,至少頂尖名校未必完全接受。


 
解決方法
 
這些潛在問題正是我和Mr. Chris Townsend (Felsted School校長)的討論重點。我一直堅持家長應該參考Value-Added榜,作為League Tables以外的一個標準。現在,VA數據由Durham University’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring負責計算分析,簡稱CEM。計算涵蓋私立和公立學校,所得出的分數於參與VA分析的學校和CEM之間傳閱。


 
那Value-added是如何測出呢?CEM現透過CAT(Cognitive Ability Test)和MidYIA兩個基準試得出Value-Added的基礎分數。CAT透過推理題目和材料運用題,考核學生語言和非語言推理、數字和空間感等能力。而MidYIS由CEM監管,主要由Year 7,8,9學生應考,考核學生課堂知識以外的能力,包括詞彙、數學、一般技能和非語言能力(形狀辯認和配對等)。這些測驗反瑛學生的校對能力、認知速度和準繩度,亦為Value-added成績提供分數基礎。


 
最終,這些分數都會比納入在Value-Added成績的整體計算範圍,使VA不只是預 測分數和實際等級之間的單向比較,而是全面而有系統的評核,從而彌補名校VA低分,和與弱校VA分相約的情況。


 
作為2013和14年 取得全國VA成績頭10%的Felsted,Mr. Townsend亦難以否定VA有利有弊。不過,他強調「Value-Added是選校的大拼圖中不可缺少的一塊,家長不能只看VA選校,亦應避免不看VA就作決定。選校決定要明智,就要得到更全面的資訊。」


 
排行榜的定位
 
市場上有太多林林種種的排行榜,其涵蓋範圍廣泛複雜。Mr Townsend認為排行榜「形式太多,資訊爆炸,卻非全部有用。」例如,有些排行榜只包含GCSEs而沒有iGCSEs,令一些學校的5 A*-C率是0%,包括Felsted和Eton。但這些學校是否成績差?也不用我多說了。


 
在傳媒宣傳底下,家長面前有太多排行榜了。而我卻堅持想家長接觸Value-Added,了解學校能為學生增值多少,比起只看成績好壞更重要。而Mr. Townsend的宗旨亦不能忽視:「排除一切排行榜,我們真真正正要如何評價一所學校?始終是靠我們親眼所見,親身視察,親赴當地,或是向舊生、過來人取經。」


 
學校是培養學生成為未來棟樑的搖籃,像一張白紙,能為學生添上多少顏色,就靠學校的「增值」能力。 

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Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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