• Sweden's news in English

Swedish minister slams grading appeal proposal

TT/The Local/dl · 12 Jan 2011, 12:06

Published: 12 Jan 2011 12:06 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

But the country's education was decidedly cool to the proposal.

“My conclusion is that it won’t be carried out,” education minister Jan Björklund told the TT news agency shortly after the proposal was presented on Wednesday.

Björklund had ordered the study following concerns that different teachers grade students in different and often unclear ways.

Not all marks could be reconsidered, according to the commission's findings.

Rather, the commission suggests that students be allowed to contest the final marks they receive at the end of compulsory school in grade 9, which play a role in determining for which high school (gymnasiet) programmes they may qualify.

In addition, students should also be able to contest the marks they receive at the end of high school, the commission proposes, as those marks are an important factor in determining students’ ability to gain admission to higher education programmes.

“We’re very happy that it’s being proposed. This is an issue we’ve been pushing hard for ten years and which is very, very important for the students,” Sofia Brändström, vice chair of students’ rights organisation SVEA (Sveriges elevråd), told Sveriges Radio (SR) ahead of the study's release.

Teachers who gave the marks should change them if the grade is “clearly incorrect”. and students who don’t have their grades changed by their teacher could then appeal the grade to the school’s principal.

If the principal finds that the mark is wrong, he or she can then offer a new mark, according to a statement from the education ministry.

But Björklund was quick to reject the proposal.

“We will listen to agencies considering the proposal, but my preliminary assessment is that it won’t be carried out,” he said.

According to Björklund, the proposal would result in a great deal of bureaucracy and that the appeals process would cost 250 million kronor ($37 million) per year. Allowing grading appeals would also require teachers to document their work.

Moreover, added Björklund, there are more pressing needs at Swedish schools that could addressed with the money required to fund the proposal.

Under the proposal, a student’s written complaint would be submitted to the teacher, who in turn would hand it over to the principal, who would determine if the mark in question was correct in relation to the curriculum and the student’s performance, as indicated by writings, group work, and the teacher’s notes.

“The principal would be able to use others, a teacher or a group of teachers, a teacher panel or board of teachers to review the basis for the teacher’s grading,” commission head Leif Davisson said during a Wednesday press conference in which the commission’s findings were made public.

“If the mark is incorrect, the principal could change the mark, but it can’t end up being a lower mark, but rather unchanged, or higher.”

Teachers could also adjust marks after the fact, but only to a higher mark.

Story continues below…

The Central Organisation of Sweden’s Student Councils (Sveriges elevråds centralorganisation – Seco) was positive toward the proposal, but expressed concerns that grading appeals would end up on the desk of the principal of their own schools.

“The fear is that the principal would end up in conflict of interest situation. A teacher works at a school for many years while the student quickly disappears. Of the proposal becomes reality, the actual possibility to have your marks corrected is pretty small, we think,” Seco spokesperson Mattias Hallberg told the TT news agency.

Ahead of the 2010 general elections, Sweden’s three centre-left parties said they supported efforts that would give students the ability to appeal grading decisions.

The Centre Party and the Christian Democrats have also indicated they support the concept, while Björklund and his fellow Liberals (Folkpartiet) have expressed reservations, according to SR.

Previously, Björklund has suggested that other reforms such as clearer goals and an expanded grading scale should be implemented to make grading fairer.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

10:04 January 12, 2011 by duogrn
It's about time.
11:20 January 12, 2011 by Tennessee Thunder
As stupid as Swedish schooled kids are It sure couldn't hurt.
11:44 January 12, 2011 by Tennin
I remember in Swedish C classes some students who never showed up and hardly did their work tried to argue with the teacher for getting poor marks for a group project. If they would have gotten the same marks as those who were there and did the project, it would have been really unfair.
22:15 January 12, 2011 by GLO
This just sounds NUTS!!!! Lots of BIG problems in the world . Not this....
22:49 January 12, 2011 by old git
At least one minister has Some Common sense - on this issue at least. Guess Who pays for these stupid commissions ... Got to keep all those civil servants "occupied" i guess.
23:32 January 12, 2011 by bloor west
The Local sure likes to use the word SLAM in its headlines
13:00 January 13, 2011 by flintis

Swedish Education Minister announces that the goverment plan to start teaching Swedish to pupils in schools in the neighbouring (Skåne) Skowne. The lessons will also be available to other Skowningar via IVIK (Komvux).
Today's headlines
Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Forgotten Ingmar Bergman script to be made into a film
It's thought the script was part of an ill-fated collaboration between Bergman (left) and Federico Fellini (right). Photo: AP

Written in 1969, the script is 'up to the standard of his best', according to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available