Formal letter to the Head of the International Bacalaureate

Essay by Keir August 2005

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To whom it concerns,

I am the Head of the Humanities Department writing in regards to the results for this year's finals, in particular for history. The results were highly irregular and suggest to me considerable inconsistency in the marking.

To begin with, it seems unbelievable to me that my best student could only manage a 6 in SL (despite a near-flawless internal assessment and having produced the most proficient essays) and yet another student managed a 5, despite an inability to write a coherent paragraph in English for me the entire year (he only managed a 2 in English and I gave him 7/20 for his internal assessment out of sympathy). So too did another student who missed an entire year and, given the fact his parents were unable to control him and he missed at least 15 days through truancy, finally completed his only work for me, an internal assessment out of charity I too gave a 7/20.

Admittedly he was not seeking a diploma or certificate, but in his other exams he wrote he received marks of 3 so I fail to see how he could get off so leniently when my best students were so severely dealt with. If it was a matter of one or two students I would accept it, but having looked at all the results I cannot let this matter rest.

I have grounds too for questioning the marking of my Extended Essays. I supervised five, four of which received Bs. Two for history I considered near-flawless. Nevertheless, they were considered equal in merit to another I considered simply average, and to one written for religious studies, a topic she did not study nor one this school offers, and did so in a most substandard way with little in the...