Tag Archives: national curriculum

MATHS: even more scary that a few hours ago


David Davis

So what about that then?

Children, by the age of seven – or eight at the very very latest – ought to be able to do long multiplication and long division. This is a simple hominid brain-skill which merely involves adding, takking away, multiplication, simple division, and “place-value” – which the Hindu philosophers invented fourteen centuries ago. None of this was beyond the wit of average, undernourished English boys and girls in the 1950s, such as myself, when sugar was on-ration and we all had Ricketts and Worms (so we must have been “eating healthily”) to do this thing, when we were starving and still bust. It was not even unavailable to people classified as “Dumb Children”, who were classed as “dumb” by their teachers, their schools and their own perfectly willing  parents, but who still tried hard, because they were given no option. Like D-Day landings, or Dunkirk, or Alamein, which some of their fathers (whom I of course knew as I played with their sons) had of course experienced without complaint.

Why they therefore can’t do it now must be down to the Universal Provider of the “skill-delivery-system” … which has to be  … “The State!” For most of them at least.

And, more worsely, the “Private sector” can afford to mark time and NOT teach cubic factorisation by the age of twelve, because it can still stay ahead even when not doing so.

It cannot be suitable to suggest that the children today are “more dumb” than 50/60 years ago. Therefore, “non-availability-of-skills” has to be down to “non-delivery-of-solutions”.

Instead, they spend seven years, – SEVEN YEARS – in “primary schooling” … and what do they do? They colour in posters about “healthy eating”, and they learn that “The Tudors” were responsible for “Pirates, Smoking and Slavery”, and that Henry the Eighth “had SEX WIVES!!!!”

So….two whole generations wasted… and the best part of a third. And all that time lost. Fred Bloggs, who very kindly sometimes writes for us, asked me the other day about what could be done to rescue the education system in the UK. I had to admit that if I was him, I would not have started from here. And it would take decades, and we probably had run out of time.

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New inside look at OCR ICT education…….. …..First hand experience!


Peter Davis

I did this last year at my school, and you could just tell that this task was thought up by the government.  May I point out that the task was to create a video in Windows Movie Maker about recycling.

I think that, well yes, its fair enough that we have to make a video, as we would learn the skills to be able to do it…..But do we have to do it on ‘Recycling’?

Anyway, this was my submission for OCR nationals Unit 23. It got a very high mark, and it took me 20 minutes. I hope you enjoy it … or maybe not.

Yes, you saw it: this is what your children do in year-9 at secondary school it the UK (for foreign readers, this is 13/14 year-olds.)

Blogeditor says:-

Something to do with this stuff would have been more fun…

(…but most of the poor buggers don’t even know what these things are, let alone that they might have even existed.)

LA … The News Release on Home Education Proposals


Sean Gabb

(UPDATE1:- I see that Blogdial has picked this up – well done, please tell everyone asap. There are a lot of other outgoing links in Blogdial about this matter, which later you may care to follow. UKIP (and here too): Renegade Parent: old Gerald Warner: the Quisling-Graph for once is good and right, and this editorial too. plus links to the usual GramscoFabiaNazi Maoist lefty stuff as well, for entertainment if it were not so sinister and if the buggers did not really mean it, as they do.)

(UPDATE2:- And here’s Daniel Hannan, on how Thatcher saved Britain. That’ll get the Ballses, Ed and Yvette (she a chav or summat?) ranting.)

NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International

Release Date: Thursday 11th June 2009
Release Time: Immediate

Contact Details:
Dr Sean Gabb on 07956 472 199 or via sean@libertarian.co.uk

For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message
Release url: http://www.libertarian.co.uk/news/nr075.htm

“HOME  EDUCATION  AND  THE  BRITISH  STATE :

KEEP  YOUR  HANDS  OFF  OUR  CHILDREN”

The Libertarian Alliance today denounces Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in the British Government, for taking the first steps towards what will be the outlawing of home education.

[Mr Balls has accepted a report recommending that all home educating families in England will have to register annually and demonstrate they are providing a suitable education. It further recommends that children should be forced into state schools if parents do not meet certain standards set by the education bureaucrats. See here for further information: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2009_0105 ]

According to Sean Gabb, Director of the LA:

“The right of people to educate their children within the values of their family, their faith or their community has always been respected by the British State. Parents have been legally obliged to proved their children with an education – but have never been obliged to send them to school, or even to notify the authorities of what they intend.

“The current proposals sound moderate. The talk is of giving support, not of forbidding. But they are the first step to outlawing home education. Registration will, for the first time, let the authorities know who is educating their children at home. Once these parents are known, they will be visited and inspected to ensure that they are providing a ‘suitable’ education. What this means – though not all at once: it will take several years of salami slicing – is that parents will be hit with impossible and ever-changing health and safety rules. They will be forced to keep records in rigidly prescribed formats – records that will almost certainly demand disclosure of the race and probable sexuality of the children, and that will (if not first lost on a railway train) be shared with foreign governments and private companies. paper qualifications may be required from parents. They will eventually be forced to teach the feared and discredited National Curriculum.

“At no point will home education be made into a criminal offence – as it is in Germany and Belgium, among other European countries. Instead, it will be surrounded by so many rules and by so much supervision, that most parents who now educate at home will give up. Many who carry on will be picked off one at a time – their children conscripted into a state school for some trifling infraction of deliberately conflicting and arbitrary rules. In extreme cases, parents will have their children taken into ‘care’.

“The motive for regulation is not the safety of children or to provide them with a decent education. State schools do not – and are not intended to – provide children with a decent education. Their purpose is to indoctrinate children with the values of the Establishment. These values used to be love of Queen and Country and a perceived obligation to go and be shot at when rounded up and put into uniform. Nowadays, the values are politically correct multiculturalism.

“As for regulation as a guarantor of safety, we only need look at the nursery worker arrested this week for sexual assaults on children. Since this is a matter before the courts we make no comment on the woman’s guilt or innocence. We do note, however, that she will have been closely examined by Ofsted, and checked against all the relevant databases, and judged officially safe with children. Anyone who thinks regulation makes children safe needs his head examined.

“This current proposals will lead ultimately to a state of affairs in which children can be torn from their homes and forced into schools where they will be brainwashed into values that their parents find abhorrent – and where they will probably be kept illiterate and innumerate as these things were once measured, and where they might also be bullied into suicide or lifelong depression.

“Ed Balls, the Minister concerned, wants all this because his Government has turned Britain into a soft totalitarian state. No child – except, of course, of the rich, who can always buy their way out – must be permitted to escape the ideological apparatus of the New Labour State. Home educators are the equivalent of the Kulaks in the Soviet Union. They show too much independence. They must be destroyed.

“The Libertarian Alliance denounces Mr Balls and the Government in which he is a Minister, and calls on people everywhere – British or not, parents or not – to write to him expressing their own contempt of and opposition to this attempted mass kidnapping of our children.”

The address details for Mr Balls are as follows:

The Rt Hon Edward Michael Balls MP
Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT
dcfs.ministers@dcfs.gsi.gov.uk

His Deputy, Delyth Morgan, can be reached as follows:

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin
Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT
dcfs.ministers@dcfs.gsi.gov.uk

For those who think these things still matter, Mrs Morgan should be addressed in correspondence as “My Lady”

Letters should be brief. They should refer to the report “Review of Elective Home Education in England (June 2009)”
(available at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters/_download/?id=6080 )

Points worth making are:

  • Home education is a fundamental human right. In a free country, people are left alone to bring their children up in the values and traditions of their own communities or faith. This right has always so far been respected in Britain.
  • The mainstream of research into home education is unanimous that children educated at home receive a better education than at school – even when the parents have little formal education of their own.
  • The current proposals are the thin end of a wedge that will make home education impossible in practice for any but the best-educated or best-connected.
  • The current proposals open homes to inspection by probably hostile officials. These officials will inevitably discriminate on the basis or race or religion or class or sex.
  • Parents will be made to teach subjects that they may find abhorrent in ways that may be inappropriate to their own circumstances.
  • The regulatory system will be expensive and bureaucratic. It will put children at risk by gathering information on them and then losing it.

END OF COPY

Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He is regarded as one of the most prominent British writers on home education. He is co-author of “Homeschooling in Full View: A Reader“, 1995. His “Home Schooling: A British Perspective” can be read at http://www.seangabb.co.uk/academic/homeschooling.htm

He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at sean@libertarian.co.uk

Extended Contact Details:

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 800 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at http://www.libertarian.co.uk

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Lansdowne Row
Mayfair
London W1J 6HL
Tel: 07956 472 199

Associated Organisations

The Libertarian International – http://www.libertarian.to – is a sister organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the world.

Sean Gabb’s personal website – http://www.seangabb.co.uk – contains about a million words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians and conservatives.

Hampden Press – http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.– the publishing house of the Libertarian Alliance.

Liberalia – http://www.liberalia.com – maintained by by LA Executive member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French and English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source of documentation on these issues for students and scholars.

State “Education” in Britain


David Davis

I should have spotted this earlier but The Remittance Man was able to jolt me into action. His point is that, in a test to identify the constituent nations of the UK, England would statistically be left out more often than Scotland and Wales. I can’t tell if he is implying that this is a deliberate result or not: although I do agree that the destruction of what we all used to regard as “Common Knowledge”, and the reduction of its range and spread in our population, is and has been a sharply-defined objective of Fabians, English classical neo-pastoralists and other similar Nazis.

My reader will know already that I view the content of the “National Curriculum” with disdain and hatred bordering on incandescence. It’s not that I’d object to “State Education” per se, absolutely – just that this particular state has taken it upon itself to forcibly try to render an entire population fit for nowt but appreciating junk-Wireless-Tele-Vision, slebmags, and “Foot Ball”.

When I was younger, I execrated Pink Floyd for this:-

I actively dis-bought their LPs, and the like – just as you over there actively dis-bought South African oranges because Nelson Mandela was nice and meek and the Old Dutch Whites were gross fascists… and today you who wear Chè T-shirts (which are NOT cool) are going to shortly queue up to actively dis-buy Israeli fruit and veg. I slagged them off at parties…Pink Floyd, not the Israelis – nobody was interested in the Israelis then, as a possible whipping-boy for anything much. The towelhead-pig and faux-“palestinian” murderer Yasser Arafat had not yet got his act together.

I do sort of, er, hope, that Yasser is now in front of his own coal-brazier and bellows-set, and is thus sharing the Outer Void with Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Marx, Lenin, and those other funny little chaps whose names I just can’t remember in the evenings. Perhaps I ought to do all bolging at 05.00 GMT, when my brain is least burdened by tasks and alcohol.

I thought they – Pink Floyd – were stalking-horses for lefties and anti-liberals, who were trying to derail the Shining Path of Western Classical Civilisation (it is exactly that and I will never forgive the Sendero Luminoso for their act of corruption.)

This was a reasonable assumption at the time, as you would all agree, for of course under Wilson, Heath and Callaghan, “pop singers” were all supposed to be lefty-“anti-establishment”-druggies like the Beatles in their “famous stage”. Otherwise, they (pop singers, not the PMs who were crazed anyway) would not get gigs in “pubs and clubs”, and so also thus not get recording contracts. But I now wonder if we Classical liberals ought to see their message as repudiation of what’s going on in British schools now.

Here’s Herman’s Hermits to tell you what it was all about and how to REALLY get the girl, 43 years ago:-

Foreign readers beware! This is what happens to your education system when your back is turned for a second … very long post.


Look carefully upon the sad lesson of Britain. Don’t do what we (failed to) do, by not arresting all the Gramsco-Marxian Fabiano-pre-capitalist-barbarian people-wreckers, while we had the chance, when there were about five of them.

David Davis

[eurorealist] Fw: The marching morons – Adults stumped by primary school tests

Date:

06/07/2008 06:06:31 GMT Daylight Time

From:

peter@pwwatson.co.uk

Reply-to:

eurorealist@yahoogroups.com

To:

eurorealist@yahoogroups.com

Sent from the Internet (Details)


—– Original Message —–
From: “Robert Henderson” <philip@anywhere.demon.co.uk>
To: “Robert Henderson” <philip@anywhere.demon.co.uk>
Sent:
Saturday, July 05, 2008

12:40 PM
Subject: The marching morons – Adults stumped by primary school tests

Note: That’s what 40 years of “progressive” education achieves. RH

daily telegraph
Adults stumped by primary school tests
By Graeme Paton, Education Editor
Last Updated: 11:08PM BST 29/06/2008 | Comments 4 | Have Your Say

The majority of adults in Britain struggle to answer questions fit for a
seven-year-old, according to a report today.

Only one-in-20 were correctly able to answer 10 questions taken from
primary school syllabuses. The study revealed that most adults were
stumped by the correct spelling of a basic word – skilful – with only 23
per cent getting it right. More than six-in-10 people quizzed also
failed to identify the planet closest to the sun.
The questions – given to 2,180 adults this month – were adapted from the
curriculum for seven to 11-year-olds in England. It will raise fresh
concerns over the standards of basic skills among the workforce.
According to the study, three per cent of adults got just one question
correct, while the average person aged over 18 rightly answered just
six. Of those failing to spell the word “skilful”, the most common
mistake was using too many ‘Ls’, researchers said. Only half were able
to identify the capital of
Sweden, with many people wrongly answering
Oslo, Gothenburg or Helsinki. Some 12 per cent suggested that
Shakespeare’s first name was Walter and seven per cent said that Henry
VIII was on the throne in 1900. Adults in the North West of England were
the worst performers – correctly answering an average of three questions
– while most people in the South East and South West scored seven. Andy
Salmon, founder of thinkalink.co.uk, the general knowledge website which
carried out the research, said: “Considering that these questions could
be answered by at least a seven-year-old, you might say the test was
easy and so an average score of six out of 10 is pretty weak. It’s not
that any of the questions were particularly difficult, we have all been
taught this information, it is retaining the knowledge that is the hard
bit.”
1. Which is the correct spelling? skillful, skilful, skilfull,
skillfull. (Answered incorrectly by 77%)
2. What is the playwright’s Shakespeare’s first name?
(Answered incorrectly by 12%)
3. What is the capital of
Sweden?
(Answered incorrectly by 58%)
4. What is the longest river in
Great Britain?
(Answered incorrectly by 48%)
5. How many sides does a heptagon have?
(Answered incorrectly by 35%)
6. What is the cube of 2?
(Answered incorrectly by 58%)
7. What are the dates of the second world war – what years did it start
and end?
(Answered incorrectly by 25%)
8. Which monarch was on the throne in 1900?
(Answered incorrectly by 39%)
9. What is the medical term for your skull?
(Answered incorrectly by 56%)
10. Which planet is nearest to the sun?
(Answered incorrectly by 63%)
1. Skilful
2. William
3.
Stockholm
4.
Severn
5. Seven
6. 8
7. 1939 – 1945
8. Queen
Victoria


9. Cranium
10. Mercury

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article4237491.ece
“Write ‘f*** off’ on a GCSE paper and you’ll get 7.5%. Add an
exclamation mark and it’ll go up to 11%”

“To gain minimum marks in English, students must demonstrate “some
simple sequencing of ideas” and “some words in appropriate order”. The
phrase had achieved this, according to Mr Buckroyd.

The chief examiner, who is responsible for standards in exams taken by
780,000 candidates and for training for 3,000 examiners, told The
Times: “It would be wicked to give it zero, because it does show some
very basic skills we are looking for – like conveying some meaning and
some spelling.”

E-mail leak of ‘degree inflation’

BBC News education reporter

A leaked e-mail shows how university staff are being urged to increase
the number of top degree grades to keep pace with competing
universities.

The internal e-mail from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) tells
staff to “bear this in mind” when they do their student assessments.

The university told the BBC this in no way related to university policy.

Last week, the higher education exams watchdog warned that the
university grading system was “rotten”.

We do not award as many Firsts and 2.1s as other comparable
institutions so there is an understandable desire to increase the
proportion of such awards
E-mail to staff at Manchester Metropolitan University

The MMU e-mail, sent to computing and mathematics staff by that
department’s academic standards manager, calls for an increase in the
number of first class and upper second degrees.

The e-mail, sent several months ago and now obtained by the BBC News
website, reveals how staff have to consider more than the quality of
students’ work – and the tension between rigorous academic standards and
universities’ external ambitions.

Student satisfaction

“As a university we do not award as many Firsts and 2.1s as other
comparable institutions so there is an understandable desire to increase
the proportion of such awards,” it says.

“Please bear this in mind when setting your second and final year
assessments, especially the latter.”

The e-mail goes on: “We have never received any external examiner
criticism that our ‘standards’ are too low so there should be quite a
lot of leeway available to us all when assessments are set.”

The e-mail also includes a joke about boosting the student satisfaction
rating. Earlier this year, staff at Kingston University

were caught
urging students to falsify their responses to improve the university’s
standing in league tables.

It says: “Please do not complain when all the BSc (Hons) mathematics
students gain first class awards next summer. Now that really would
increase our student satisfaction!”

Higher grades

The leaking of the e-mail provides further evidence of the concern among
academics over the pressure to manipulate degree awards to improve the
public image of universities and to make them more attractive to
applicants.

The number of students achieving a first class degree at UK

universities
has more than doubled since the mid-1990s.

Among last year’s university leavers, 61% achieved a first class or
upper second class degree.

Such is the level of concern that Phil Willis, chair of the House of
Commons select committee on innovation, universities and skills, wants
to examine the threat to higher education standards.

Manchester Metropolitan University

confirmed the e-mail was genuine.

A spokesman said: “This is an informal comment by a member of staff
below the level of head of department to immediate colleagues.

“It is merely the interpretation of a single member of staff which
reflects the increased awareness of comparable and publicly-available
statistics, and in no way relates to university policy.

“Decisions about degree classifications are made by boards of examiners
in accordance with the university’s assessment regulations, which
specify how classifications are determined.”

Financial pressures

This is the latest warning about university standards, following a
whistleblower’s account of postgraduate degrees being awarded to
students who could barely speak English.

This prompted thousands of academics and students to get in touch with
the BBC with their own worries – including that financial pressures were
leading universities to recruit and pass overseas students who did not
reach the adequate academic standards.

The response from BBC News website readers also included e-mails showing
how an external examiner had been persuaded to change her mind over
criticisms of a degree course.

Many have described the conflict of interest between universities’ self-
regulation on degree grades and their need to compete in league tables.

The chief executive of the Quality Assurance Agency, Peter Williams,
reflected some of these concerns about an over-dependence on overseas
students.

He was also explicit in his criticism of the current system: “The way
that degrees are classified is a rotten system. It just doesn’t work any
more.”

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/education/7483330.stm

Published: 2008/07/01 12:32:32 GMT
Daily Telegraph

Twin boys sent to primary schools a mile apart
Last Updated: 8:24PM BST 29/06/2008

A mother said she is “horrified” that her twin sons will be separated
and sent to different primary schools, nearly a mile apart.

Education officials said the three-year-old boys Connor and Brad Terry
must attend separate schools due to a shortage of places. Their mother,
Samantha, 40, is battling to overturn the decision which she fears will
damage the strong emotional bond between the twins. “To read they would
go to different schools, I thought there was some mistake. I was
horrified when I was told it was not a mistake. I cannot consider the
consequences of separating the twins at such a tender age.” Born 24
minutes apart, Connor and Brad are virtually inseparable said their
mother. But she said there was no space on the application form to say
that a child was one of a twin.
As a result the boys, who want to go to Wainscott primary school, in
Medway, Kent

, were processed separately. Connor claimed the last place
while Brad was ordered to attend Hilltop primary school a 15 minute walk
away from his brother. Mrs Terry, an accountant, said: “I cannot be in
two places at the same time – it’s impossible. But the computer
selects the places on a specific criteria and being a twin does not come
into it. They have been together their whole lives and the council is
ordering me to separate them.” A spokesman for Medway Council said: “The
way in which a council deals with applications for schools is set down
in law, and must comply with School Admissions Code, which Medway does.
“The family’s circumstances are extremely rare and changing the
application form to indicate twins or multiple births would not have
prevented the same outcome.”

daily telegraph
Universities will be forced to give poor pupils preferential treatment
By Joanna Corrigan
Last Updated: 8:28PM BST 29/06/2008

Universities will be told to give preferential treatment to pupils from
poorer backgrounds under new proposal.

The plans, in a report commissioned by Gordon Brown, are likely to lead
to applicants from state schools being asked for lower A-level results
than those from private schools. Experts are already saying that the
move would damage British universities’ international standing, but the
Government is expected to publicly endorse the plans. Children from
poorer backgrounds account for only 29 per cent of all students. At
Oxford and Cambridge the level is even lower, at 9.8 and 11.9 per cent
respectively.

Read more

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