Friday, April 11, 2008

On 'neighbourhood schools'

Shuggy provides a brief commentary on how it is actually neighbourhood rather than the non-existent comprehensive schools that do best in this country, culminating in the following glorious bite:
But why consider this when you can cleave to the myth that a return to the notion that a child's future can be, and should be, determined by a test they do when they're eleven years old is what is needed to help "bright working-class kids escape the hell of inner-city comps"? Yes, give your Daily Mail prejudices a prolier-than-thou veneer if you can. But before you do so, consider this question: can you explain to me why, exactly, a child has to be 'bright' to qualify for escape from a situation you consider to be 'hell'?
Oh AMEN: it's a source of endless bemusement to me that some people seem to think that a system is only a good when it benefits them and their supposed 'bright offspring' rather than offering anything to those who may not as yet, if ever, demonstrate such 'brightness' (and how arbitrary are some of those measures of brightness may be at age 11 anyway...)

1 comment:

Persephone said...

Do you know what we have in Ontario, Canada? We have the EQAO tests, administered in Grades Three and Six (something equivalent to Years Four and Seven in Britain, I think). EQAO is the Education Quality Assurance Office, and the name alone make me want to reach for the back of my throat. Or a sawed-off shotgun. These tests take three days and are a really efficient way of terrorizing teachers and students alike. The results are published in the newspapers, and guess what? Schools in affluent areas inhabited by professionals do better in this type of test than areas with a high immigrant population. So, naturally, a school in a middle-class area is a better school, right? Give me strength...
Needless to say, administration of these tests cost a fortune, and funds for such frills as special education and arts cannot be found.