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Conservatives plan on state-education... watch

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    (Original post by Amit92)
    Well we can all agree on vast improvement in state schools can't we?
    Any sensible person can. No matter what statistic or measure you choose, standards have gone up a lot since 1997. Take the fact that the number of schools with less than 30% getting 5 GCSEs has gone down from 1,600 to 280 since 1997, for example, source http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...s-pass-rate-up.

    Obviously there is still a very long way to go. Improving the situation requires a very serious policy committment that hits all areas of social exclusion. None of the parties are really offering this at the moment; the Tories certainly aren't.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Grammar schools have been tried and discarded because they were too expensive and didn't work.
    To be quite frank, they haven't been 'discarded' at all, and (albeit from largely anecdotal evidence) they do work. You can't say that they don't work when I've seen them work with my own eyes.

    If grammar schools did enable social mobility, then the secondary moderns must conversely stop social mobility. I don't think that would construct an equitable society.
    That logic simply doesn't follow, I'm sorry.

    The concept of grammar and secondary modern schools makes the assumption that people at the age of 10 or 11 can be neatly divided into academic and vocational and should be taught that way. If that is true, perhaps you could provide some evidence that back up your assertion.
    Right, the main problem we have here is that we face uncertainty with regards to the future. Let two things be clear:

    1) We will always live in a second best world with regards to education. Any system of education will be inefficient in an allocative capacity, and this stems from that uncertainty.

    2) You've missed the point with respects to grammar AND secondary moderns.

    The point of the different categories of school is not to force kids into either being a PhD student or a builder, it's to maximise their range of options given their situation at the time of applying. To allege that secondary moderns restrict you academically is absurd; the institution isn't what you should blame for underachievement, largely, it is the culture that surrounds it. A mirror argument can be given for Grammar schools - I know quite a few people who went on to do apprenticeships and other vocational training rather than Uni.

    Grammar schools aren't perfect, and I will never argue that they are, BUT, in a second best world, they provide an excellent vector for social mobility, which is the ENTIRE POINT of their existence.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Take the fact that the number of schools with less than 30% getting 5 GCSEs has gone down from 1,600 to 280 since 1997.
    By making the exams easier? Great, that really benefits society.

    The conservatives want more vocational options, and don't want university to be seen as the only worthwhile further eduction or training, that's a policy of theirs that I really support.
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    Cameron's education policy is a joke. A good degree does NOT make a good teacher. Being able to communicate and install discapline are far, FAR more important!
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    (Original post by chidona)
    To be quite frank, they haven't been 'discarded' at all, and (albeit from largely anecdotal evidence) they do work. You can't say that they don't work when I've seen them work with my own eyes.



    That logic simply doesn't follow, I'm sorry.



    Right, the main problem we have here is that we face uncertainty with regards to the future. Let two things be clear:

    1) We will always live in a second best world with regards to education. Any system of education will be inefficient in an allocative capacity, and this stems from that uncertainty.

    2) You've missed the point with respects to grammar AND secondary moderns.

    The point of the different categories of school is not to force kids into either being a PhD student or a builder, it's to maximise their range of options given their situation at the time of applying. To allege that secondary moderns restrict you academically is absurd; the institution isn't what you should blame for underachievement, largely, it is the culture that surrounds it. A mirror argument can be given for Grammar schools - I know quite a few people who went on to do apprenticeships and other vocational training rather than Uni.

    Grammar schools aren't perfect, and I will never argue that they are, BUT, in a second best world, they provide an excellent vector for social mobility, which is the ENTIRE POINT of their existence.
    You must be easily swayed by anecdotal evidence but I am not. You either provide evidence in peer reviewed journals or you have to say you have no credible, objective evidence to support your assertion about grammar schools.

    If you want to argue for spending large amounts of public money to re-establish grammar schools, you will have to provide evidence that the money is better spent in providing grammar schools and not other educational facilities.

    The undeniable fact is that state grammar schools were a short lived experiment in the British education system and have been largely discarded.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    You must be easily swayed by anecdotal evidence but I am not. You either provide evidence in peer reviewed journals or you have to say you have no credible, objective evidence to support your assertion about grammar schools.

    If you want to argue for spending large amounts of public money to re-establish grammar schools, you will have to provide evidence that the money is better spent in providing grammar schools and not other educational facilities.

    The undeniable fact is that state grammar schools were a short lived experiment in the British education system and have been largely discarded.
    I'll get back to you in a fortnight with the hardcore evidence, if you so wish BUT, you must provide me with the evidence that an education system with grammar schools, private schools and non-grammar state schools is less bad in terms of equity and efficiency objectives than any of the education plans set out by the three main parties (i.e., the feasible alternatives). Indeed, I must say I do find it hypocritical that whilst I have provided at least some evidence (that is indeed true if on a small scale), you have nary provided anything to suggest the contrary. Indeed, your claim that grammar schools have been 'discarded' is both fallacious and betrays an aggressive ignorance.

    From some preliminary reading, it appears that grammar schools are actually both effective (in terms of social mobility) and equitable (in terms of the distribution of education). But, as I said, I'll get back to you in a fortnight with a hefty body of evidence supporting my cause.
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    (Original post by CandyFlipper)
    By making the exams easier? Great, that really benefits society.

    The conservatives want more vocational options, and don't want university to be seen as the only worthwhile further eduction or training, that's a policy of theirs that I really support.
    The changes at the bottom end of the school system have been such that its very difficult to explain them by exam changes alone. See, for example, http://www.parliament.the-stationery...00105w0070.htm. GCSEs may have got easier in the last few years, but they haven't got over two times easier. There are plenty of non-exam based measures to corroborate this: most importantly, spending has increased and class sizes have dropped.

    I don't think you fairly state Tory policy, though admittedly its very difficult to know what Tory policy actually is. You say that they don't want university to be seen as the only worthwhile place for further education. Yet they've consistently criticised Labour for failing to meet their 50% going to uni target, and have promised to increase the number of university places. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8305698.stm.
    Its also noteworthy that apprenticeships and improved vocational training are very much Labour achievements: according to the Labour site 250,000 will start apprenticeships this year compared to 75,000 in 1997. I have my doubts about Tory support for more vocational options: Tory plans to expand apprenticeships are less ambitious than Labour's and they've promised to scrap the government's "Train to Gain" scheme (incidentally, they did this in November, less than 2months after David Willetts told the Tory conference in October that it wouldn't be scrapped).
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    (Original post by andy5788)
    A good teacher is not necessarily one with a good degree. For starters the best teachers empathise with the difficulties their students may have in understanding the conceps they are explaning. Not to mention the fact that knowledge of a subject and ability to communicate it may overlap to an extent but are clearly different things.

    As for grammar schools, they are no longer (if indeed they ever were) centres of social mobility. Private courses and tuition for the 11+ are more widely available than ever and the socio-economic background of the vast majority of grammar school pupils is overwhelmingly affluent.
    exactly completely agree.

    I have personally had the experience of a highly intelligent Cambridge graduate chemistry teacher who was, by a considerable margin, the worst teacher in the entire school.

    Ministers really need to understand that teaching is an art, a craft not a science. Being academically brilliant doesn't mean you can transfer that knowledge to children. It's the equivalent of knowing the science behind sport, achieving a high degree in the discipline and therefore assuming that you could play for Arsenal's first team. The ability to teach is a talent, a gift and it can't really be taught in a classroom.
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    Labour should never have got rid of Grammar schools. Labour were the ones that made sure only the rich could get a good education, and then pretended that they care about the poor.

    Also to those saying that a good degree does not equal a good teacher: that's true. But a pass at uni suggests that the person coasted through. You can't get kids enthusiastic about a subject that you have no passion for. And in Science subjects, it's not good enough to know the A Level syllabus. A teacher should be able to answer kids questions about topics beyond that, especially when they realise that what they are learning is just a simple but wrong way of thinking about something. Without a solid knowledge of the subject, teachers will not be able to answer curious students and so will not be able to satisfy their curiosity, get them interested in the exciting aspects of a subject (of which none are in the school syllabus), or encourage their thirst for knowledge.

    The Tories are just trying to cut out the people who coasted through and then decided to go into teaching, purely because it's a secure job that you don't need a good degree for, making it pretty unique in the graduate job market.
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    all they need to do is give control (and freedom) to the state school head teachers instead of having one gigantic, centralised, everybody has to be the same system.

    oh, and and the national curriculum needs to be reduced down to 'make sure they can read and write'....everything else is a bonus.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Any sensible person can. No matter what statistic or measure you choose, standards have gone up a lot since 1997. Take the fact that the number of schools with less than 30% getting 5 GCSEs has gone down from 1,600 to 280 since 1997, for example, source http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...s-pass-rate-up.

    Obviously there is still a very long way to go. Improving the situation requires a very serious policy committment that hits all areas of social exclusion. None of the parties are really offering this at the moment; the Tories certainly aren't.
    You can use facts to prove anything....

    But seriously, living in Dagenham, I see a lot of kids that don't get the right support from their teachers or their families.

    Yeah, the teachers need to improve, but if your a kid with a father that walked out when your were a baby, an alcoholic mother, well, you start to think that poor teachers are only part of the problem.

    I don't think that a 2.1 or a 1st necessarilly prepare teachers very well for a career in an eonomically and socially deprived area - It will help to guarantee a basic level of quality of newly qualified teachers, but just as important is knowing how to help the peope that need it most - book-smarts alone will not solve that problem.
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    (Original post by paddyman4)
    Labour should never have got rid of Grammar schools. Labour were the ones that made sure only the rich could get a good education, and then pretended that they care about the poor.

    Also to those saying that a good degree does not equal a good teacher: that's true. But a pass at uni suggests that the person coasted through. You can't get kids enthusiastic about a subject that you have no passion for. And in Science subjects, it's not good enough to know the A Level syllabus. A teacher should be able to answer kids questions about topics beyond that, especially when they realise that what they are learning is just a simple but wrong way of thinking about something. Without a solid knowledge of the subject, teachers will not be able to answer curious students and so will not be able to satisfy their curiosity, get them interested in the exciting aspects of a subject (of which none are in the school syllabus), or encourage their thirst for knowledge.

    The Tories are just trying to cut out the people who coasted through and then decided to go into teaching, purely because it's a secure job that you don't need a good degree for, making it pretty unique in the graduate job market.
    very good point. But I'd argue that a person who has acquired a 2.2 in say chemistry has a huge amount of knowledge compared with a student aiming at an A at the A Level equivalent. Moreover, you also need to address the practical component of such a policy: where is the money going to come from to persuade top academic graduates to go into teaching instead of the many thousands of higher paying and more 'prestigious' professions. Third, can we really afford to disregard potential teachers who may be passionate about teaching, skilled at teaching, just not as academically gifted in their degree subject when such individuals would still make good teachers; when at present, there is a huge shortage of teachers?
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    (Original post by Complex Simplicity)
    very good point. But I'd argue that a person who has acquired a 2.2 in say chemistry has a huge amount of knowledge compared with a student aiming at an A at the A Level equivalent. Moreover, you also need to address the practical component of such a policy: where is the money going to come from to persuade top academic graduates to go into teaching instead of the many thousands of higher paying and more 'prestigious' professions. Third, can we really afford to disregard potential teachers who may be passionate about teaching, skilled at teaching, just not as academically gifted in their degree subject when such individuals would still make good teachers; when at present, there is a huge shortage of teachers?
    Yeah I agree a 2.2 should be fine, it's not that bad and in particular you can drop to a 2.2 if one piece of work is affected. It doesn't mean you coasted.

    I think their logic is probably to take money that would have been used to fund the PGCEs of 2.2 graduates and below, and use it to fund financial incentives to holders of good degrees in priority subjects. Offering to pay off their student loans could woo top graduates, as everyone leaving uni is worried about their massive student loan nowadays. Then again, that might not woo great teachers, just people willing to work as a teacher for a few years until their student loan has been paid off.
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    I think the problem with grammar schools is that a lot of people don't know they exist. When I was 11, a boy from our school went to a grammar school, and I thought he was going to a specialist school that teaches only English. (I am not kidding.) Looking back, perhaps it might've been nice to go to a grammar school - and, honestly, I think I would've got in - but I didn't know what they were, and working class parents tend not to have the kind of values and priorities which mean that they encourage their children to go to a better school.

    So, while I don't disagree with the concept of grammar schools per se, something else is needed to boost numbers of low-income applicants; if not, then yes - they should just improve state schools.

    (I also disagree with teachers needing a 2:1 or above; it's ********.)
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    I agree with the Tory plans. There has to be a way for the clever poor boys to get away from the stupid naughty poor boys who are dragging them down.
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    (Original post by paddyman4)
    Yeah I agree a 2.2 should be fine, it's not that bad and in particular you can drop to a 2.2 if one piece of work is affected. It doesn't mean you coasted.

    I think their logic is probably to take money that would have been used to fund the PGCEs of 2.2 graduates and below, and use it to fund financial incentives to holders of good degrees in priority subjects. Offering to pay off their student loans could woo top graduates, as everyone leaving uni is worried about their massive student loan nowadays. Then again, that might not woo great teachers, just people willing to work as a teacher for a few years until their student loan has been paid off.
    precisly, and one must ask the question: how good a teacher would such an individual make who's sole purpose of entering the profession is to pay off their student loans and leave immediately afterwards?
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    (Original post by Kater Murr)
    I think the problem with grammar schools is that a lot of people don't know they exist. When I was 11, a boy from our school went to a grammar school, and I thought he was going to a specialist school that teaches only English. (I am not kidding.) Looking back, perhaps it might've been nice to go to a grammar school - and, honestly, I think I would've got in - but I didn't know what they were, and working class parents tend not to have the kind of values and priorities which mean that they encourage their children to go to a better school.

    So, while I don't disagree with the concept of grammar schools per se, something else is needed to boost numbers of low-income applicants; if not, then yes - they should just improve state schools.

    (I also disagree with teachers needing a 2:1 or above; it's ********.)
    Do you not think that it is a bit of a travesty that a lot of teachers, especially in poorer schools, are only teachers because they didn't get the 2.1 they needed to do what they actually wanted?
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    (Original post by Elipsis)
    Do you not think that it is a bit of a travesty that a lot of teachers, especially in poorer schools, are only teachers because they didn't get the 2.1 they needed to do what they actually wanted?
    I think it would be much more a travesty that plenty of potentially very good teachers would not be able to teach because they had a 2.2.
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    (Original post by Kater Murr)
    I think it would be much more a travesty that plenty of potentially very good teachers would not be able to teach because they had a 2.2.
    Maybe, perhaps we need a system where people sign up to do teaching before they start their final year, which would mean only those truely interested would sign up.
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    The teachers needing a 2:1 policy is just stupid and missing the point. Do the Conservative realy think someone who gets a 2:1 or better in say biology would make a better maths teacher than some with a 2:2 in maths.
 
 
 
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