Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Any Questions - A bit of rigour wouldn't go amiss

It's a bit depressing that most panellists' knowledge and experience of education on Any Questions is that they once went to school. Add that to their lack of understanding of human nature [why does the private sector want to get its hands on education], and their willingness not to challenge statements before giving an answer . . .

One of my worst moments was on Questiontime [TV] sometime a year or two back when Vince Cable, asked a question about education said that something [academies or whatever ]was worth trying . . .

OMG. Again, accepting something without question. Precisely what is worth trying? So a school is worth taking apart, destroying, dismantling, killing off, blowing to kingdom come on the words of a politican who hasn't a clue. It's worth trying! What little words for such cruelty. It's unproven; it's rubbish; it's somehow assuming that teachers go into teaching to be deliberately sub-standard. And heaven help those of us who choose inner-city teaching in order to make a difference!

Yesterday I wrote the following below to Any Answers; they emailed back and asked if I would speak; I decided I should; I held the phone until they came back on and said euthanaisa had run them out of time. Both disappointed [that academies went publicly untried] and relieved [that I wasn't going to make a national idiot of myself] , I went back to tidying my study.

Letter to Any Answers

"Until your panels stop accepting these premises at face value, these debates by celebrity panels will be at best pointless, and at worst, dangerous. [Connie was at least right when she politicians should keep out of it and leave it to the educationalists]
The statement that some children leave school illiterate is offered up as a fact, and trotted out by people who want to have a swipe at teachers and education system for dubious reasons of their own. It is presented unquestioned and unqualified. How many children? How much illiterate? Who sets the standard for literacy at what age? Not said? What percentage of population? Not said. They may .
Have been school refusers.
Have had a traumatised home life [unable to concentrate]
Have spent a long time in hospital
Have undiagnosed dyslexia or other Special Education Needs
Have been Travellers, not accessing the system fully
Have not come to UK till older
Have not to come to UK till older and come from a country where they had no education even in mother language.
And what ever the problem with education, academies are most definitely not the answer. If trained teachers who have dedicated their lives to this most noble of professions can’t get them all to read and write, then I fail to see to see how business men and women who are by their very nature motivated by competition and by money, can do it!
And I must return to the original statement: How true is it, and is this the right debate?"

I wrote it quickly; I hope the opportunity for proper public debate on this issue comes up soon and that we can get rid of Mr Gove as soon as possible before he gives all our schools away. He obviously doesn't listen to reason, doesn't really understand the arguments or he has got a screw loose, and actually wants to trash the public education system.

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