Archive for the ‘education’ Category
From the biblical notion that men should lead their wives, these guys infer that in order to make this possible, the wives must be hamstrung so that they, the rulers of their future roosts, don’t have to be challenged in any way. By way of contrast, the right response is to imagine a highly educated woman, and meditate on what it would take to win her respect.
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And I’m getting ready for my academic record to go through its annual devaluation.
See here for the figures.
So, I gather, he’s proposing to raise the school-leaving age to 18. He’s clearly never attempted to teach a bunch of bored, resentful, aggressive teenagers who’d rather be anywhere than in his classroom. I’m sure teachers all across the country are trembling at the thought of being stuck with 8F for an extra 2 years.
Here’s my suggestion. Why not lower the school leaving age to, say 14? But make it conditional on attaining certain grades in your KS3 SATS. If everyone who left school had a higher reading age, better writing skills and could add up, they’d be much more useful in the workplace. They’d be a lot more motivated while they were in school too if they knew they had to pass exams in order to be able to leave.
This would also have the advantage of allowing teaching at GCSE and A-level to be directed towards those who are both able and motivated, thus raising overall standards.
Sure, you’d have people without qualifications. We have that now. Yes, there’d be the problem of what to do with the disaffected teenagers, though I fail to see why that’s the school’s responsibility and not the parents’. And yes, you’d have to make provision for those who failed, and those who failed repeatedly. Perhaps one could say that after three attempts (taken at 6 month intervals) then you could apply for exemption.
And perhaps, you might want to make a better system of adult education available to those who, after doing some growing up, realised that they’d thrown away something worthwhile.
But please, let’s not make schools even more miserable places than they already are.
I was just having a discussion about this earlier with a recent GCSE student and so I looked up some figures.
GCSEs were introduced in England and Wales 1986, with the first exams being taken in 1988.
In 2006, 59% of pupils achieved 5 or more grades A-C. This was an increase of 1.9% on the previous year, and the 8th successive rise in results.
The last O levels were taken in 1988. The A to C pass rate was around 42% The number of pupils who sat the exams who received five A to C grades was around 29%.
Only around 20% of students would have been entered at O level, the rest taking CSEs or leaving school with no qualifications at all.
O levels graded students on a quota system – only the top 20% could get an A. This made it unfair from year to year – depending on the strength of the year-group.
By comparison, GCSEs are graded based on a cumulative points system instead – so in theory everyone could get an A if they achieved a certain level.
Source: Department for Children, Schools & Families (formerly Dept for Education & Skills)
Notice that 29% of those entered for O-levels got 5 A-C’s and only 20% of students were entered. So around 6% of the total student population in 1988 got 5 O-levels at A-C. In 2006, just under 60% of students got 5 GCSE’s at A-C. That’s just about ten times as many.
It seems hard to attribute a 900% increase over an 18 year period simply to better teaching or harder-working students.
No one is saying that children today aren’t bright or hard working. But it is certainly the case that 20 years ago you had to be a lot brighter and/or more hard working to get equivalent grades.
As a side issue, when did the Department for Education become the Department for Children, Schools and Families? And does anyone else think that’s a tyrannical move to grasp power that should not properly belong to the state?