Sunday, March 08, 2009

Quote of the day...

... from his Ecclesiastical Eminence, on the subject of schools.
The education system is run by people who think that what parents want for their children is secondary to what the state wants - which is to say what the educational bureaucracy wants. Children, they believe should be taught to think like bureaucrats, which is to say rarely, uncreatively and only in a progessive, left wing manner.

His solution, of course, is to privatise all schools and remove the government from the education curriculum. Because otherwise you end up with utter shit like these "science" papers, posted by the Libertarian Alliance blog: Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

As long time readers will know, your humble Devil did quite a bit of science—Biology, Chemistry and Physics at GCSE, Biology and Chemistry at A Level and two years of a Microbiology degree—and I can tell you that the questions posed in these papers are derisory. Most of them actually require no hard science knowledge at all (the Biology paper is particularly derisory).

Seriously, I had to answer harder questions than these at the age of 12 (in the Eton Scholarship exam) and these are supposed to be GCSE papers. Anyone who thinks that education has not been dumbed down or that exams have not got easier is quite simply wrong, and will receive only 54% (A*) for writing their name correctly.

Fucking hellski...


Dave H said...

Nor would you believe the substandard, agenda-driven crap they are being taught even in the traditional subjects.

(H/T to a blogger whose name I’ve forgotton. Twathead.)

Jules Wright said...

Jeez. There's some choice brainwashing going on in there. And have you noticed? We also now have a growing trend in TV advertising that features young members of the Hitler Youth hectoring their parents on the need to make more efforts to be adopt the government myth of the day.

And nowhere in said advertising does the unlucky parent say: "Shush Jemima, you're neither old enough, experienced enough nor wise enough to make an informed decision yet - in part because education standards are debased and politicised and also because you are only 10. So please be quiet while I talk to this nice man from Toyota otherwise I'll send you to your room".

Katabasis said...


I've seen a few comments on blogs today on this topic deriding the content of these exams.

Looking at the one you just posted Dave - it's the first one ("modern" exam paper) I've looked at, I had difficulty containing my incredulity.

Jesus wept tears of hate and boiling piss.

Welcome to the idiocracy ushered in by our wonderful "targets based" public services.

Dr Evil said...

I could cry, I really could, with anger and frustration. The so called Biology paper just covers human biology and that with very simplistic questions. How any child who has sat through the curriculum could fail this incredibly simple and easy paper is beyond me. The chemistry paper is likewise very, very simple and undemanding. Some parts of questions are answered by the wording of the previous part. OK, GCSEs are for mixed ability entrants, but again,how any child could fail this beggars belief. Also, these children are probably going on to do A levels in the same subjects and then expect to read medicine, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics at university where they will get a fuck of a shock! I am so angry that these exams have been made so utterly unchallenging, utterly easy, with no analysis or thinking required. Frankly an A in this GCSE paper is as worthless as an E.

Katabasis said...

Chalcedon - seeing your avatar just reminded me of something:

"The avalanche has already started. It is to late for the pebbles to vote"

Anonymous said...

Not sure exactly what you're basing your assessment on, but note that the first half of the paper (the 'Foundation Tier') should be ignored - it's the one that replaced CSEs, and is aimed at ensuring thick kids have some vague clue about what's going on.

The kids who would've done O-levels (actually, a few more kids than would've done O-levels) take only the second half of the paper - the 'Higher Tier', with real graphs, maths and science in it.

Anonymous said...

There was one of those "reality" programmes on Brit TV a few years ago that took what were considered to be A grade students, of 15/16 years of age, back to a British Grammar School regime, of the 50s/60s.
Well they let them settle in for a week or two, and then gave them a maths exam.
The Pupils assumed that the exam was the old "O" level exam, which preceded the GCSE.

Of the 30 or so, only 3 passed the exam(these are 15 year olds remember).

The paper was, in fact, an old 11Plus paper!

But I have said a bit more over here...


Anonymous said...

The first fucking question on the Chemistry paper was about (partly) global warming. No agenda there.

Anonymous said...

Post based on this.

Anonymous said...

john b,

The second half really isn't much better. Compare to a real physics paper from before the fall here.

Scroll down to see the maths papers too.

What shocks me though, is not so much that the questions are so easy, but that in a number of cases the questions are actually wrong. Whoever wrote the question doesn't actually know or understand the physics. Not just the global warming shite, but stuff like thinking metals are ionic. I can only guess that the kids destroyed a decade ago have now grown up to become educators.

I find it amusing that people in the business claim 'dishonesty' because we fail to mention the tier 1/tier 2 distinction. How stupid do they think we are?

Anonymous said...

Physics is my main interest, and I would like to confirm that the Physics paper is risible. Quite a lot of the current curriculum isn't even Physics at all.

Within twenty years, we will be running out of mathematicians scientists and engineers.


Mercurius Aulicus said...

"Among the strange notions which have been broached since I have been in the political theatre, there is one which has lately seized the minds of men, that all things must be done for them by the Government, and that they are to do nothing for themselves: the Government is not only to attend to the great concerns which are its province, but it must step in and ease individuals of their natural and moral obligations. A more pernicious notion can not prevail. Look at that ragged fellow staggering from the whiskey shop, and see that slattern who has gone there to reclaim him; where are their children? Running about, ragged, idle, ignorant, fit candidates for the penitentiary. Why is all this so? Ask the man and he will tell you. ‘Oh, the Government has undertaken to educate our children for us.’"

~~John Randolph. Proceedings and Debates of the Virginia State Convention (1830)

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