Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A Denial of Basic Schooling

Five A* to C grades - it's not much to ask after 11 years of full time education; it's still not much to ask that they be in English, mathematics, a foreign language, history or geography, and a science.  It's certainly not enough to deserve to be called the English Baccalaureate.

Yet only one in six achieved at least this standard last year.  Cries of 'we weren't ready' are pathetic; what should have been a baseline already being achieved by most, even when the measure is introduced retrospectively,  has been shown to be a target beyond the range of the majority.  What has been going on for a generation and a half of school students during the Labour years?


Anonymous said...

No but it helps to know how you will be measured before you choose your route to success.
These pupils chose their exam subjects tw years ago so to now be told they have failed is not very nice is it. They may have worked very hard got 7+ A* grades but no modern language so they are a failure. huuuuum.
Or they may have spent their time playing games watchingTV etc and still failed.

hatfield girl said...

That's fair, Anon. But 'These pupils chose their exam subjects two years ago so to now be told they have failed is not very nice is it' underlines the denial of a basic schooling.

It's not very nice being without a foreign language, or a mathematics base, or an understanding of the world informed by the past, or an acquaintance with our literature, even an acquaintance with our grammar and spelling and the possibilities our language extends for us...

Instead of finding more effective ways to impart difficult to acquire skills and understandings there seems to have been an abandonment of both skills and pupils. Why?

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Anon, if the children are doing seven (or more) exams which don't include those basic requirements then they are (1) badly advised and/or (2) deliberately fiddling the system.

No sympathy, especially given how easy the exams are these days.

The only thing worth looking at on an academic certificate is the date.

Nomad said...

I suspect that a large number of today's teachers were educated in the 60s and 70s and were subsequently victims of the (usually left wing) so-called teacher training colleges, many of whose products (including quite a few that I have come across over the years) could hardly write their names, let alone tell you how to solve a quadratic equation, or even read a bus timetable properly. A so-called English teacher of my acquaintance, having graduated from one such institution, admitted to having never heard the word "parse" nor knew what an adverbial clause was.Thus, the answer to your question may well be that for the recent past the teachers themselves were not really up to the job and have passed these lower standards on to their younger successors.

Labour policy since the mid 60s, has been to dumb everything down to the lowest common denominator - thereby robbing a couple of generations of youngsters of their right to a decent start in life.

Needless to say, I have also come across a lot of well educated and dedicated teachers, but they seem to have been swimming against the tide for the past 20 years or more. I see little hope of much changing in the foreseeable future.

a small hg said...

I once sat through a maths lesson (GCSE level) entirely devoted to the explanation of how to read the 24 hour clock.

hatfield girl said...

I'm sure you wouldn't like me to make a fuss, Small.

hatfield girl said...

How are all these people going to recuperate their school years though, Nomad?

Perhaps Labour will re-institute night school and mechanics institutes along with building societies and mutual help institutions - co-ops even.