Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lowest common denominator

One of the main reasons for the failures in some of the state schools is that they default to having to try to spend more resources teaching those at the bottom end of the learning spectrum. The brightest and best have a tendency to become bored or are simply ignored as teachers struggle to cope with the disruptive and struggling in their classes. Because of the insistence of only moving kids forward one year at a time and massive resistance to streaming the brightest into their own classes to learn at a higher pace, we ended up with a train crash of an education system...
COMPREHENSIVE schools are still linked with “mediocrity and failure”, the chief schools’ inspector said yesterday.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of watchdog Ofsted, believes too many are still clinging on to poor teaching methods which are a “throwback to the 1960s and 1970s”, such as “informal learning”.
He also attacked a lack of academic rigour, a neglect of basic literacy and numeracy and a resistance to exams and “meaningful” qualifications.
Sir Michael warned that nearly one in five is not up to scratch and many others are in a “constant battle to avoid slipping backwards”.
In a speech at Wellington College in Berkshire he said: “Even though the ideology that afflicted so many... has been largely discredited, its damaging effects remain.”
These include a half-hearted pursuit of high standards and a toleration of poor behaviour.
As mentioned above, one of the reasons for a half hearted pursuit of high standards is many teachers are forced to deal with kids who don't want to learn to the detriment of those who do. Add to this a heady mix of uncontrolled immigration and a set of pupils who initially do not understand English any too well and the situation is far worse than it need be.
Once upon a time we had two types of schooling, grammar and modern, kids took the 11 plus exam and the brightest went to grammar schools the rest went to the modern system which was biased towards trade skills rather than academic ones. It wasn't particularly fair to the late developers, but it worked and owing to misplaced leftard delusions of fairness it had to go so all could have prizes. So instead of helping the best we had to do the best they could, we drowned them in a sea of comprehensive education.
We have sacrificed far too many of our children on a bed of political dogma where teaching methods and curriculum were messed with by politicians and leftard so called academics until we have the situation where a lot of kids now leave school barely literate and numerate, something almost unheard of in my generation.
Fairness is for adults, not kids, the schooling system should be aimed at getting the best out of all, but streamed towards the brightest getting preferential treatment. No, it isn't fair, but it will work.

1 annotations:

Anonymous said...

"...a neglect of basic literacy and numeracy..."

Well the teachers who wanted to
"...git down wiv da yute, innit.."
have also managed to bring down the teachers' numeracy to the point where many teachers cannot do maths, let alone teach it.
(H/T Channel 4 for revealing that long ago.)

The teachers' unions have been only about the comfort and easy life of their members,
and not about making sure they fulfil their professional obligation to the young who must trust them.