Monday, September 10, 2012

It will end in tears

There's a theory that goes if you play chess with good chess players, you'll get good (or better) yourself. I'm not certain that works with education, but clearly a good teacher will get more out of a class than say a bad one. What a good teacher won't be able to do however is take someone of lower academic standards and turn out a model student, well not in the time they're allotted and not if they have to deal with the needs of others. That's always been the problem with the comprehensive system, it's always been tied to the needs of the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately in their drive to get 50% of pupils into universities, the previous Labour government did not learn the lessons of the comprehensive system and its failures...
Cambridge University said accepting poorer students with lower grades would be a 'cruel experiment the could ruin lives' as the institution came under increasing pressure to widen its social mix.
The university's outgoing admissions director said it would resist calls to make 'adjusted offers' for less well-off students as Cambridge stepped into the row over 'social engineering'.
It is just one of the elite universities being urged to admit students with lower grades from poorer backgrounds to match the number accepted from middle-class families.
Geoff Parks, who this month stood down from his 10-year stint as head of the Cambridge admissions office, said students who failed to achieve top A-level results could be doomed to failure.
He added that a lack of academic success could mean they would be ill-equipped to cope with the demands of Cambridge, it was reported.
He does not say (though it is implied) that the lecturers do not have the time to give special treatment to those who have a lower record of attainment. Whilst I'm sure some may survive and thrive I suspect they'll be in a tiny minority, some people are late developers after all. Yet for the majority it will be the equivalent of throwing someone who can't swim into the deep end and letting them get on with it, they will be singularly ill equipped  from their previous educational experiences to cope with the necessary disciplines that a top level university will demand of them to get a degree qualifications. Hell I expect a lot of them will struggle to catch up to where the standard student comes in at, which will leave them getting further and further behind and no doubt further and further into debt before crashing out demoralised and bitter about the entire experience.
Equality of opportunity does not equal equality of ability, something the idiots of the left seem to have forgotten, sadly though as in just about every other endeavour they've poisoned, they're not the victims.
Just the poor sods who are sucked into their little schemes...

2 annotations:

CJ Nerd said...

When I was at Oxford in the mid-1980s, there was a chap in my year who was in there on a special scheme organised by ILEA.

Getting into Oxford in those days required passing entrance exams. This chap was good at physics but not at exams, and ILEA set up this scheme so people like that could get in.

One of the most basic rules of Oxford is that you have to pass a set of internal University exams in your first year. End of first term for History, second term for many subjects, third term for the rest. If you don't pass, there are retakes about a month later. Fail those, and you leave.

Guess what? This guy failed those exams- cos he wasn't good at exams, remember- and out he went. He went to a place where the emphasis was on coursework.

No-one could quite work out what the point of the exercise was- it certainly wasn't good for this guy to spend a year knowing that he was going to be thrown out after failing the first-year exams.

Anonymous said...

At a Stone Roses gig saw a bloke with a really cool t shirt che guevara on it the slogan "communism a billion dead and all i got was this lousy t shirt" class really made me smile