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    (Original post by yawn)
    No - this is not a good way of determining poverty! Income alone is not indicative as some people do not have as high expenditure as others.

    The best indicator is whether a family is in receipt of means tested benefits - the government would have this information at their fingertips and this is why they have all agreed on entitlement to free school meal as currently the best indicator. Even if the indicator was changed to 'post code' determination, there is always the case that not all of the people living in that particular area would be considered poor.
    What do you think the main factor is for determining such means tested benefits is? Family income. Of course factors can be included for the number of children, but as income deprivation affecting children is seen as a valid statistic for a vast number of other policies, I see no reason why it shouldn't be valid here.

    All this discussion just to illustrate that the old fallacy that grammars give the best educational opportunities to poor but bright children is just that - a fallacy! :rolleyes:
    Grammar schools give education to bright children, regardless of background. There are plenty of children from disadvantaged backgrounds at grammar schools, but the selection procedure is simple - competetive examination. It is clear that children whose parents are well educated (often middle class) and/or have a large income will be a better positioned to prepare their children for these examinations. Possibly something could be done to redress this, however I think it is illiberal to deny people the right to spend money on improving their child's education opportunities and we shouldn't punish people for doing this or strip children of such opportunities in order to socially engineer our society. My parents spent money on extra lessons for me, this was a significant cost for them and it meant tightening the purse strings elsewhere, but they could afford it, does it make them bad people?

    Your solution is to deny bright children teaching resources, which helps no-one. Mixed Ability teaching also creates massive demands on teachers. Streaming is, in my opinion, essentially the same as selective education.

    I do think that there should be reforms of the system however. Making transfer between schools easier and have more assessment points would be a start.

    We live in a liberal democracy which means that we must balance equality for all with the rights of the individual and if the fundamental flaw with selective education is that those with the income or education can gain some advantage for their children - do they outweigh the benefits of keep schools with a high standard of achievement and leading teaching standards. I don't think so.
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    Remember, Equality of Oppertunity != Equality of Outcome.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    The academic success of schools is almost entirely down to intake - not better teaching nor better facilities.

    Ask any educationist!
    So you agree that an 11+ would be a good marker of ability then. If intake is the greatest factor then this would mean that the argument for grammar schools to be scrapped and their resources diverted is pointless because it would make next to no difference to an individual child's success.

    Essentially then any investment in new teaching methods and resources is pointless - we should go back to slates and chalk.

    In fact what is the point in investing any money in education at all!
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    So you agree that an 11+ would be a good marker of ability then.
    Come on now ChemistBoy! Of course I am not agreeing that the 11+ is a good marker of ability.

    As I have said before, many of those who pass the 11+ pass it because of intensive coaching rather than inherent ability. The ones who benefit most from a selective education are those with 'borderline' ability who have received this intensive coaching and do better because the rest act as an upward leveller ability wise. But the same thing can happen, and does happen in a primary school class where a proportionally larger number of able children can raise the level of achievement amongst those of lesser ability.


    Any school that has an intake into a class that is comprised of 100% of the top quartile will achieve the same, if not better, results.

    The rest of your post relates to your argument with yourself, not me!
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    (Original post by DanGrover)
    Remember, Equality of Oppertunity != Equality of Outcome.
    Only in an egalitarian socialist utopia.
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    (Original post by Profesh)
    Only in an egalitarian socialist utopia.
    I have missed the beauty of your gift of expressing the English language in such a succinct and eloquent manner!

    Welcome back old bean.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Come on now ChemistBoy! Of course I am not agreeing that the 11+ is a good marker of ability.

    As I have said before, many of those who pass the 11+ pass it because of intensive coaching rather than inherent ability. The ones who benefit most from a selective education are those with 'borderline' ability who have received this intensive coaching and do better because the rest act as an upward leveller ability wise. But the same thing can happen, and does happen in a primary school class where a proportionally larger number of able children can raise the level of achievement amongst those of lesser ability.
    You say that intake is the best marker for acheivement in schools, but then you disagree that the assessment academic ability of children at 11 is the best marker of acheivement - I fail to see the difference in that, according to your logic. I also disagree that those that perform best in selective schools are "borderline" cases - most "borderline" cases at my school were often transfered out at a later stage - i.e. failing pupils were dumped on other schools, something I'm not exactly proud of, but they certainly didn't benefit by being with more intellectual able pupils as they simply couldn't keep up.

    Any school that has an intake into a class that is comprised of 100% of the top quartile will achieve the same, if not better, results.

    The rest of your post relates to your argument with yourself, not me!
    The fact is, what you said is plain wrong. Teaching and Resources do have a big impact on achievement levels, to ignore these important factors creates an unrealistic assessment of the situation where comprehensive education is seen as the best way forward because there is no point in investing in different teaching systems and resources for children of different intellectual abilities, because it makes no difference.

    Essentially as your assessment of teaching is so flawed I can't see any point of continuing this discussion at present.
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    (Original post by DanGrover)
    Remember, Equality of Oppertunity != Equality of Outcome.
    Nope. But Equality of Opportunity allows the chance of Equality of Outcome.
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    (Original post by an Siarach)
    Nope. But Equality of Opportunity allows the chance of Equality of Outcome.
    As long as "opportunity" is not forced on everyone by circumstance. (University entrance anyone?)
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    (Original post by yawn)
    The academic success of schools is almost entirely down to intake - not better teaching nor better facilities.

    Ask any educationist!
    First of all how does this serve your argument in any way? Of course grammars - which select the brightest pupils - will be more academically successful than those which do not have selective criteria for their intake( That is absolutely obvious) because they select the most academically able. Meanwhile thanks to labours dogged class chip on the shoulder there is no real provision for the education of those who are not academically able so they are condemned to constant failure and disillusionment thus the failure of the comp schools. I remember last year being stunned to see several of the biggest psychos/time wasters from my old school in the 'graduation/achievements' pages of the paper for winning awards/coming top of the class in their various trades/vocational college courses and feeling absolutely furious that 1) they had had so many years of their lives wasted being forced to go to a school which did not cater or provide them with an education or skills relevant to their abilities and future life and 2) that I and others had had so much of our time wasted, classes disrupted and lives made a misery at various times by having these (understandably) frustrated people stuck in our classes.

    And educationists are worthless leeches who exist to serve themselves alone. Ask anyone whos taken the PGCE or equivalent and youl find out it mostly consists of educationist theory and other nonsense with no relevance to real teaching or education. Referring to 'educationists' as authorities on the success/failure of the (their) education system is about as reliable as getting a Communist party member to objectively evaluate the realistic application of Marxism.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    As long as "opportunity" is not forced on everyone by circumstance. (University entrance anyone?)
    Very valid point. One of the great 'achievements' of the Labour education policies (of various regimes) is the removal of opportunity - the destruction of vocational education by getting rid of the grammar/secondary modern system and the current policy of trying to get absolutely everyone into higher education (despite the huge shortage of practical skills/apprentices/trades etc which we are having to plug using immigrants).
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    (Original post by an Siarach)
    Referring to 'educationists' as authorities on the success/failure of the (their) education system is about as reliable as getting a Communist party member to objectively evaluate the realistic application of Marxism.

    You articulate it so much better than me. I just can't believe that there are people that still believe in such a hard-line marxist idea of "one-size fits all education". Even streaming is not good enough as it is still conducted in a single institution which must have over-arching philosophies and objectives that will colour all the teaching that occurs within it - it is a lot easier to be successful if you are more focussed on a single type teaching, such as purely academic or vocational, etc.
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    Or: equality of opportunity vindicates inequality of outcome.
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    (Original post by Profesh)
    Or: equality of opportunity vindicates inequality of outcome.
    This is true.
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    Thank god for grammar schools. I went to one and it gave me a good headstart in higher education. It wasnt amazing, but I expect that the teaching and general attitude of the pupils would have been a bit better.

    The thing is, its not just all about people being jealous. Stopping grammar schools is preventing the better pupils from actually doing better, rather than capping them off, grammar schools do generally allow those who have true potential to really excel and thats important.
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    How about top performing state schools? What is everyones view on them. I percieve that many parents take advantage of the system and children with the potential to succeed do not have that chance.
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    Have any of you who keep propogating this nonsense of 'politics of envy' soundbite from the Tories seen the consultation document from the DfES (government civil servants who work for the government of the day) relating the a revised Code of Practice on School Admissions? I have so I know that grammar schools are actually being allowed to strengthen by this 'new' Labour government that so many of you despise because of political ideals rather than fact.

    I quote:
    "It is poor practice for admission authorities to stipulate conditions which affect the priority given to a particular application because this would mean that parents would not feel free to express their true preferences. For example it would not be appropriate to give lesser priority to one applicant on the grounds that their higher preferences for other schools are for schools that are selective."
    One would hope that in expressing a preference for a school as a first preference, the parent is actually being truthful in that preference and not trying to have 'two bites of the cherry' over the parent that is more truthful. Take the case of a parent whose child is about to sit an entrance test for a selective school. The parent puts down a successful non-selective school as their first preference and a grammar as their second (which in reality is their first preference!) If the child fails to pass the entrance test the parent has the advantage of holding an alternative place at the successful non-selective school - if the child passes, the parent can appeal for a place at the grammar and will automatically receive it, because there will be spare places as all the other ambitious parents will have done the same thing!
    On the other hand, the parent who for whatever reason, does not want to make a preferential choice of a selective school might very well be denied at place for their child at the school which is genuinely their first choice because the parent of the failing grammar school candidate takes that place which is really their second preference. - unfair to the majority? - of course it is.
    In addition - to compund this injustice - the government is allowing the test results of those taking state selective school entrance exams to be made available before parents express their preferences. Therefore, yet again, the parent who wishes their child to go to a grammar school will opt for that as first preference, whilst the one whose child fails the selection test can take the place away from another for a school at the most popular and successful non-selective school.
    The results of these changes will mean the strengthening of grammars and the weakening of the weaker schools.
    Ruth Kelly has expressed her wish to increase the social mobility of all children. By changing the admissions scheme she will enhance the gap between the better and worst schools, setting us back in achieving social mobility.
    I say to those Tories on this forum - look to 'New' Labour as your ideal government because they are pandering to those who historically support the right of centre when it comes to education. :mad:
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Have any of you who keep propogating this nonsense of 'politics of envy' soundbite from the Tories seen the consultation document from the DfES (government civil servants who work for the government of the day) relating the a revised Code of Practice on School Admissions? I have so I know that grammar schools are actually being allowed to strengthen by this 'new' Labour government that so many of you despise because of political ideals rather than fact.

    I quote:
    "It is poor practice for admission authorities to stipulate conditions which affect the priority given to a particular application because this would mean that parents would not feel free to express their true preferences. For example it would not be appropriate to give lesser priority to one applicant on the grounds that their higher preferences for other schools are for schools that are selective."
    One would hope that in expressing a preference for a school as a first preference, the parent is actually being truthful in that preference and not trying to have 'two bites of the cherry' over the parent that is more truthful. Take the case of a parent whose child is about to sit an entrance test for a selective school. The parent puts down a successful non-selective school as their first preference and a grammar as their second (which in reality is their first preference!) If the child fails to pass the entrance test the parent has the advantage of holding an alternative place at the successful non-selective school - if the child passes, the parent can appeal for a place at the grammar and will automatically receive it, because there will be spare places as all the other ambitious parents will have done the same thing!
    On the other hand, the parent who for whatever reason, does not want to make a preferential choice of a selective school might very well be denied at place for their child at the school which is genuinely their first choice because the parent of the failing grammar school candidate takes that place which is really their second preference. - unfair to the majority? - of course it is.
    In addition - to compund this injustice - the government is allowing the test results of those taking state selective school entrance exams to be made available before parents express their preferences. Therefore, yet again, the parent who wishes their child to go to a grammar school will opt for that as first preference, whilst the one whose child fails the selection test can take the place away from another for a school at the most popular and successful non-selective school.
    The results of these changes will mean the strengthening of grammars and the weakening of the weaker schools.
    Ruth Kelly has expressed her wish to increase the social mobility of all children. By changing the admissions scheme she will enhance the gap between the better and worst schools, setting us back in achieving social mobility.
    I say to those Tories on this forum - look to 'New' Labour as your ideal government because they are pandering to those who historically support the right of centre when it comes to education. :mad:
    I agree, this is very poor practice, but it is not an argument against selective schools, but actually an argument for adopting a selective system which relies on thorough and regular testing of all children. The government already has implemented key stage development tests, it should be imperative that these tests are actually used to ensure each child gets an education which improves their opportunities as a individual.
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    The person who said that poor people going to grammar school is just a fallacy is just plain wrong.

    I come from a poor family. My dad is the sole bread winner of the house and I did not come from a rich family. My friend was in the same boat as me. Its peoples stereotypical views that think that grammar school kids are posh and rich. Both my parents left school at 16.

    Those who are coached through to a grammar school to pass the 11+ are soon 'weeded' out. Simply because they are coached only to pass. They are not coached in preparation for grammar school life and a workload. Most of the people I knew who were coached left after GCSE because their results were not good enough to carry onto A-level.
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    (Original post by theepw)
    The person who said that poor people going to grammar school is just a fallacy is just plain wrong.

    I come from a poor family. My dad is the sole bread winner of the house and I did not come from a rich family. My friend was in the same boat as me. Its peoples stereotypical views that think that grammar school kids are posh and rich. Both my parents left school at 16.
    You maybe misunderstand what was being said.

    Proponents of grammar schools state that they allow bright children from deprived backgrounds to access selective education.

    The myth of this is that in practice, very few children from homes that are categorised by government as deprived do attend grammar schools. This fact is evidenced by comparing the percentage of children in receipt of free school meals, attending comprehensives and selective state schools.

    Now whether you receive free school meals and are therefore officially economically deprived - that is a matter for you to decide. There are many of us who would claim to come from poor homes where there is only one parent in full-time employment. That does not make someone poor - being in receipt of an income that is officially below the level to sustain reasonable standards of existence and therefore entitled to means tested benefits and maybe free school meals does make someone poor.

    I do not have a stereotypical image of all pupils at grammar schools being 'rich and posh' - but most of them do come from middle-class backgrounds as those homes are inclined to offer the most support and resources to their children - and this observation is borne out by the incidence of few being entitled to free school meals!
 
 
 
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