I know the main thesis of libertarianism is too tough for most people to accept. We have been conditioned by 60 years of Socialist government to believe that a caring society requires a powerful state. Indeed, most of us hopelessly confuse "society" and "state," assuming that every power given to government will be used skilfully and in good faith. Even if you can't accept that there should - as a matter of principle - be severe limits to state power, perhaps you can accept that there are areas in which the state is simply incompetent? Perhaps we can, case by miserable case, scale back state power?
If exams were set by competing private companies, they would need to be credible in order to build a brand. Some people might - of course - elect to take EaziExam Limited's "chav special" papers, just as some people will (amazingly) buy a Lada. However, everyone would know what such a qualification was worth, when compared with the competing ToughCorp product.
Politicians running a state education system should obviously not be in charge of monitoring its performance. It's simple common sense. If they are, they are bound to rig the statistics. Could anyone really be so naieve as to expect otherwise? Yet that is the situation in Britain. Through its control of the National Curriculum the Education Ministry has now engineered a situation where you can get an EaziExam® qualification in French, without having written a single French sentence or having been subjected to the "stress" of uttering a word of the language to a stranger. The situation is no better in other subjects. But, unless you attend a private school working towards independent qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate, you have no "ToughCorp" option.
We can argue all day (if you are buying the drinks) about whether the state has a place in certifying the accuracy of petrol pumps or in lecturing children about the dangers of drugs. You may find it hard to accept my view that there is no need for a state education system at all. But surely you must agree that setting exams is outside its competence?