Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Stupidity beyond belief

Dr Crippen misses the true horror of our piss-poor education system.
GCSEs and “A” levels are increasingly discredited and, with this government, is it any wonder? The possibility of anyone failing such exams has long gone.

The truly awful thing about our education system is that, dumbed down and appallingly easy as GCSEs and A Levels have become, people still fail them. In fact, lots of people fail them.
There is a shocking story in the Telegraph today.
A quarter of teenagers are leaving school with practically nothing to show for 11 years of compulsory education, a report discloses today.

Last year, about 147,000 pupils failed to get any GCSEs higher than a grade D. This included 28,000 - almost one in 20 - who failed to gain a qualification of any kind.

What the fuck? 147,000 children were unable to get a C or above in even one GCSE. Not even one. Some of my readers will have taken O Levels and will be unable to appreciate just how incredibly easy GCSEs were, even when I took mine in 1992 and 1993.

And that is the true horror of our education system. Plus, of course, education is the ticket to so much else: you fuck up someone's education and you fuck up their entire life.

Those fuckers in the House should be neither allowed nor capable of playing politics with education. Fuck them all.

7 comments:

Newmania said...

The other side of the equation is the intergalactic increase in spending over the last ten years when we have certainly slipped down international tables .I favour vouchers and a state lottery system where there is no choice . I also favour ending public schools charitable status and preferably banning them outright outside the voucher system .You cannot , in my not at all humble opinion have a meritocracy and rig the game so only a few can ever win.
I `m not at all sure what a Libertarian would say about schools . A dreadful imposition on the charmingly unspoilt ignorance of the free child I should think.....
The Conservative Party has some radical ideas and its a shame we have been caught up with the Grammar school issue although understandable for those who value social mobility another educational disaster. Crushing the NUT like a beetle has got to be part of the plan which both vouchers and lotteries would both assist in as they would add an automatic accountability and transparency . The real problem, is simple , the teachers are shit.
How do you feel about getting rid of Eton DK , and did you ever have a fag in either a sexual or bun toasting sense ? Wouldn�t you say that your privileged access to the language of power is in effect enslaving the mass of ordinary people beneath the yoke of your cultural predominance? I would if I dared risk the contemptuous curl of your full and fleshy Michael York style lip.( not to say cruelly sculpted Teutonic cheekbones )

Devil's Kitchen said...

Newmania,

"How do you feel about getting rid of Eton DK ,..."

I think that it would be an idiotic thing to do. We have two parts of our education system: the bit that works and the bit that's an utter fuck up.

You and the Labour Party want to get rid of the bit that works. Are you sure that you are in the right party?

"...and did you ever have a fag in either a sexual or bun toasting sense ?"

Fagging depended on what house you were in (each house is a bit like a US state: they have a great deal of autonomy) but, no; in my house fagging was all but extinct by the time that I got there, and almost totally so by the time I left.

"I favour vouchers and a state lottery system where there is no choice ."

Really? So if your children were allocated, by lottery, to a school in Brixton (or Manchester, even), you'd be happy with that, would you?

Besides, what on earth is the point of having a voucher if people are unable to choose their school? It sounds like you want to maintain state funding and state provision: if that is the case, what on earth is the point of proposing vouchers?

Like Cameron, you appear to have missed the point about why voucher systems work. It is because people can choose that schools become better: they have to compete.

And, fundamentally, to compete properly, they need to be privately owned. So, as in Sweden, all schools should be private. This is the only way in which you can reap the full benefit of a voucher system (and break the postcode lottery).

You will also note that strong, trouble-making unions simply don't exist anymore in the private sector (or in private schools for that matter). You want the NUT crushed -- I, for one, would clap and cheer wildly -- then take all schools private.

"I also favour ending public schools charitable status..."

I am sure that you would, and I am sure that most public schools would now desire to be outside the government's remit too, but as the Reptile discusses here, it is not that simple.

"... and preferably banning them outright outside the voucher system ."

Really? How quaintly socialist of you. You see I thought that you Tories were all for allowing free trade and the such.

The public schools are a business: they sell a product, education. You now say that you only want businesses that you approve to be able to sell that type of service.

Where would you like me to put these trouble-makers, sir? Off to Siberia, is it?

DK


P.S. "I `m not at all sure what a Libertarian would say about schools . A dreadful imposition on the charmingly unspoilt ignorance of the free child I should think....."

Children are, broadly speaking, unable to appreciate the consequences of their current actions and are, by definition, not adults; thus it is entirely valid -- indeed, it is incumbent upon adults -- to make decisions on a child's behalf.

Newmania said...

The bit that works does so at the expense of the bit that does not .There is no evidence that children do better at� better� schools it works the other way round . For Grammars certainly if you discount the social class of the entrant the actual educational achievement is steady. You think people send the sprogs to Eton because of the lovely gym and the super teachers ?...Yeah right that�s why.( Note irony ...got that ,...good)
Its an act of exclusion and due to the operation of the housing market on location and the rising wealth /skills a gap as I am sure you are aware the top end are leaving the middle and the bottom end are sunk. This must be addressed or freedom is only freedom for some to dominate the poltico media complex and others to get fuck all.
Broadly if we are to start to roll back the welfare state then a sense of fairness of opportunity is a political and I would say , moral necessity. This cannot be obtained when some act as monopolisers of opportunity . (Think of it as regulating the market in attainment that�s not so bad is it )
This was what was meant by Cameron`s use of the Polly Toynbee Caravan metaphor
It is like a social version of the Wisconsin miracle

I can`t look it up now but it has been discovered that a small 10% outside the system ,raises the total the private sector will not provide coverage though and will not be required to ...is it Holland ? At least you will n know that a small entrant proportion has that effect. If it is needed it will spread if not it will not . The lottery operates in areas not across the country and I do not suggest that all problems can be solved by the state . A lottery does provide comparison between schools a choice outside provides competition and it has worked elsewhere. This solves the teacher problem
As far as Sweden is concerned at 70% GDP in taxation the difference between the private and public sector is cosmetic only and with a country full of resources noone in it and no immigration they can do whatever they like . They are no guide to anything whatsoever here .
Its a business whoopee do ! Sales of guns and drugs are a business and to chioldren ?Irresponsible development anotjer example is stealing not trading . Same thing is true of super charging an elite and closing the door on everyone else. Its like monopolistic practice the opposite of market based freedom. I accuse you of doctrinal impurity!


Lastly ; children and adults are on a spectrum of knowing consequences that ends only with the Lord in heaven DK


We are all his children, even you

DrCrippen said...

Hi DK

No serious argument from me about the precise point. When you are up to your neck in shit who cares if it is cow, horse or pig!

But, you and I many know that a D grade is a fail in all practical terms, but that is not how it is classified. I agree entirely that it is depressing that many children don't take any at all.

+++++

Charitable status - I think legally it is hard to justify the charitable status of Eton, St Pauls etc. BUT, if the charitable status is abolished, what happens? School fees go up about 10% (depending on whose estimate you follow) and that squeezes people on the margins. A few of the less successful public schools may fail. Eton, St Pauls etc will continue to flourish; a large percentage of the parents are gobstoppingly rich and will not even notice; for the rest, the parents will make even more sacrifices to keep their children there and they will be the ones who suffer. Be under no illusion as to the middle class education ethic and the levels to which those parents will go to get a decent education for their children.

Bryan Ferry and Richard Branson will not give a toss. Well known socialists like Charlie Faulkener and Diane Abbott will continue to pay up - bastards. It ought to be a criminal offence to use BUPA and private education whilst being a member of the Labour Party.

Meanwhile, look at Burning our Money today - the government is going to go on another hopeless spending spree, this time on education.

What can I say but roll on the revolution bruvvers : first we shoot the lawyers, then the old Etonians



John

Devil's Kitchen said...

John,

Charitable status is estimated to "cost" the government about £100 million a year. Or roughly 0.016% of government spending.

"Charitable status - I think legally it is hard to justify the charitable status of Eton, St Pauls etc. BUT, if the charitable status is abolished, what happens? School fees go up about 10% (depending on whose estimate you follow) and that squeezes people on the margins."

I'm afraid it's not that simple, as my link to the Reptile says.

"The belief is that if independent schools, which are almost all charities under the original 1601 Act, feel that they have more to lose by upholding the new 'public benefit' test in the Charities Act than they gain by being charities, well why not up sticks and give up on the whole charity thing? But there's a very good reason why they don't.

"However, the loss of charitable status is a very serious matter.The reason is that, under the current law, charitable assets remain charitable. If a charitable school loses charitable status, the assets remain charitable and will be used for charitable purposes which are the same as, or close to, the charitable objects of the school.

"It is believed, or hoped, by some people that loss of charitable status does not involve more than the loss of the (generally small) fiscal benefits of charitable status, and that the school can continue as before, minus these fiscal benefits.That is not the case. Loss of charitable status involves major change.
"
A scheme will need to be approved by the Charity Commission under which the assets are applied to charitable purposes.Although that could possibly involve the school continuing in something like its former state (because its assets might be applied to another charity which wished to run the school much as before), this is only one of many possibilities, of which closure of the school and loss of its assets is equally likely."


In other words, the loss of charitable status will lead directly to the death of the school. This is the danger with the new Charities Act. The Charities Commission will have the power to close down every independent school in the land, by judicious application of the public benefit test. Worth bearing in mind, that."


Quite so.

Newmania,

I would address your comment in detail, but it's such a load of old socialist claptrap that I can barely believe that you aren't Roy Hattersley in disguise.

"The bit that works does so at the expense of the bit that does not ."

Patent rubbish. I mean, just so much fucking horseshit, I'm not sure where to start. It's not true financially, that's for sure.

And are you seriously attempting to tell me that there are only enough good teachers to fulfill private needs and no more?

"There is no evidence that children do better at� better� schools it works the other way round ."

What? I mean, seriously, what?

"You think people send the sprogs to Eton because of the lovely gym and the super teachers ?...Yeah right that�s why.( Note irony ...got that ,...good)"

Ah, yes, you know precisely the mindset of those who send their children to Eton, do you now? Lucky old you.

I suspect that there are a combination of reasons but one of them, as I have written innumerable times before, is that many people value that which can be done outwith the classroom, as well as what goes on in it.

"Its an act of exclusion and due to the operation of the housing market on location..."

Which is why you let people choose the school. Good schools will expand, bad schools will die (although what actually happens is that bad schools get better).

"Broadly if we are to start to roll back the welfare state then a sense of fairness of opportunity is a political and I would say , moral necessity."

Don't be silly. It requires parents to actually get off their fat arses and do the best for their children. But, I'm sorry, but it is not the case that all must have prizes.

"This cannot be obtained when some act as monopolisers of opportunity ."

Who's monopolising opportunity. Um... no one.

"This was what was meant by Cameron`s use of the Polly Toynbee Caravan metaphor"

Both Cameron and Toynbee are fucking idiots, and evil idiots at that.

Toynbee's solution to her caravan metaphor is to slow down those at the front (meaning that the caravan takes a lot longer to reach its destination) rather than speed up those at the back. She is a stupid,blinkered bitch whose death will be celebrated with street parties up and down the length of this country.

"The lottery operates in areas not across the country and I do not suggest that all problems can be solved by the state ."

How big an area? And what if all, or even the majority, of the schools in that area are shit?

That's right: people will move to an area with a better chance of getting their child into a decent school. Oh, wait, that sounds familiar...

"A lottery does provide comparison between schools a choice outside provides competition and it has worked elsewhere."

Where?

As for school vouchers, they also seem to be working nicely in the areas in the US where they are being tested. Here's some reading for you.

Oh, FYI, Sweden spends 7.7% of GDP on education (#13) and the UK spends 5.3% (#46).

UK GDP is 2,198,789,000,000 (#5) and Swedish GDP is 357,682,600,000 (#20) (adjusted dollars).

The population of the UK is 60,609,153 (#22) and the population of Sweden is 9,016,596 (#85).

The GDP per capita of the UK is 36,508.663 (#13) and of Sweden is 39,636.637 (#9).

And, as far as immigration goes, I am afraid that you are wrong. Immigration as a percentage of population has Sweden on 12.3 (#42) and the UK on 8.982 (#53).

Like, whatever...

DK

Roger Thornhill said...

Most parents would do anything that is legal to give their kids a better education and start in life. Some will even bend the law. Almost everyone is in this catagory and if you are in the majority to deny it makes one a hypocrite.

A few are feckless scum care not for their kids as long as the £37.23 is coming in each week for the tabs, SKOL and bucket o wings. They are appalling, but in a way many are just ignorant and/or lazy and aping the lack of upbringing they didn't have.

Another group purposely deny their children the best they could afford because of some bankrupt C19th envy-ridden authoritarian collectivist horseshit. They are the worst kind. Dr Mengele would probably have baulked at experimenting on his very own, but not these, even when they KNOW it does not work, they must feed their offspring into the meatgrinder, for if they do not the final tissue of pretence will slide off the bog mirror of reality and then they will see the festering turd that is their rancid ideology.

Newmania said...

Hattersley why brother DK , you wound me grieviously ....

OK. Whilst those whose children are walled of from the society they will rule also contribute taxes the financial and power deal their parents do is well worth it which is why they buy it..I `m tempted to add duhh
That is the sense in which it is an unfair or restrictive practice . We are a less mobile society than in 1975 and it is getting worse. The country has to act or there is not country just warring classes which is a danger and makes us all poor .

Like any other market if those who enter it early and with resources are allowed to they will buy up all the access and the marker will cease to function except for their benefit . Markets are not collections of ants their are full or people actively trying to subvert their process and Public schools are a good example of how they do it .We accept that markets must be regulated for exactly this reason. My point about schools and children is that if you discount according to social markers ( usually publicly funded meals ) Grammar schools ~(whilst slightly out performing Public schools ) ,do not achieve significantly better results for the children them than they would have achieved outside the elite atmosphere. I `m sure you have seen the figures which often appear in the Guardian

No in the Grammar schools chosen by wealth and ability of the Public schools chose by sheer wealth it is as you rightly say the things outside the classroom , outside academic attainment that are important . It revolves around expectations , social confidence , being acclimatised the system`s upper corridors . All this strange alchemy which results in our uniquely stifling class bound system. from Lib Dem leader to New Statesman Editor one not especially talented section takes all . Under such quaintly Dickensian circumstances the socialists have a point .

~” All must have prizes “ is what you characterise as my view . Prizes like Henry Conways for example , seems nice enough but a life of having the crap kicked out of him in Newcastle’s awaited had his dad not been a thief and bull shitter. .Get it proportion , did you know that literacy standards are so bad that they have had to dumb down the Karaoke machines and that half of teachers have been attacked or that 7 or so Boroughs in London have over 60%only speaking English as a second language ( Swedish economic flux is quite a different matter and an EU thing in small numbers ). All the while the powerful can escape this will not improve .It’s the classic example , like ‘planning permission’ of the collective good not being served by the individual advantage . It is cooperation and it is justified by the particular place of children and the need to retain fairness of opportunity

Presumably you also approve of planning permission or would you rather St Pauls was turned into “Luxury flats “ Freedom , you see , has limits .You see the parallel

On vouchers , well yes about £5000 each to opt out say. According to you this will mean that the state system will; die being hopelessly outperformed by the various competition. This has not happened in the Netherlands where the standard across the board has nonetheless gone up . What they do not have however is schools entities to charge more so you end up simply subsidising the independent sector . That I think is the crucial difference which leaves us with majority state provision or at least a proportion. So how to allocate the chances ……? The lottery is better than wealth which is what location has become and it means you can compare performance . Tis obviates the need for endless targets . Proper exams will suffice . If I tell you the NUT are absolutely against it you will begin to get the idea


. Freedom to set discipline standards and opt out yes . I do not approve of selection by wealth and a
market in preference should not be turned into buying up the future
On Sweden you have missed my point . (Immigration ,see above , ) it is always being quoted as a
socialist paradise and its version of the private or indeed the free is not something you would recognise .It's the only country in the world with a total tax revenue higher than 50 % of GDP” Niall Ferguson puts “State Governed Expenditure” at about 70% . So you work for the government creche to grave .It is culturally so different to us that they were able to tell the whole country to change the lane they drove on and they did and there was not an accident , Imagine that here. The sit on vast wealth with their 9,000,000 or so and milk it inefficiently. Their problems are not ours and after the colossal taxes they pay the divisive nature of elitism is ruled out anyway and ..pointless if it wasn’t . A bizarre country for you to idolise DK . You would not like it I promise you

In Summary

Setting , Lottery based local section and a voucher sytem without additional private cheating and you will . In my view have the right mix for this country plus some central control over curriculum and standards. You views are simple defence of privilege and the prizes of which you speak have been stolen not won.