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Treat white working-class boys like ethnic minority, Willetts tells universities watch


    (Original post by AdamskiUK)
    Perhaps I didn't treat you in the way I should have done. You're clearly brighter than most who surf TSR.
    Why thank-you

    I clearly understand your point about somebody being more impressive if they attained grades at a lesser school but you can't give them advantages as they are being given already.
    The article wasn't even regarding giving state schooled people an advantage but targeting poor white boys to go to uni as ethnic minorities are given they're both as disadvantaged.

    Someone else might have gone to a good school, but it certainly doesn't mean he made use of it. Perhaps he worked through the night to achieve his AAA grades. Regardless, he shouldn't be cast aside for somebody who waltz's in with AAA grades from a weaker school. For all you know, he was a child prodigy that could have gotten them without working. The fact that he went to a failing school shouldn't be a way to differentiate between final candidates. You don't know how, individually, that school has affected each person.
    It's not about casting anybody aside. It's about being fair and seeing that state education is poor, and for a prodigy to shine through they clearly have a lot of raw intelligence and should be given a shot surely. He may be just as clever with his AAA than an Eton A*A*A* pupil, but hasn't had the boost up to A* from having a better standard of education, so he should clearly get an opportunity. It's not about differentiating people, it's more, 'he did this in spite of the massive disadvantages he has, that's pretty good.'

    At the end of the day, regardless of how clever a student is, if he has ended up achieving AAA then he shouldn't be put down as better than an opposite, yet better-schooled student. Yes, the weaker candidate has worked harder for his AAA but it's STILL AAA and it isn't fair on the better-schooled candidate to be ruled out for his efforts. AAA is no easy task regardless which school you come from. Not in proper subjects, anyway.
    It's not about better or worse, it's about what is more impressive. Ofcourse AAA is still harder, but imagine how much harder it is in a rowdy classroom where most of the time is spent on getting the rest of the class to behave. Or where in science classes there are rarely any practicals, because copper sulfate is that darn expensive. Or an English class where literature has to be shared.

    Also you're looking at it from a standpoint where it's 1 vs 1 with a state school and privately educate candidate. It's more of a pool where the one's who shine advance, so obviously anyone with A*'s. Also, school isn't a major deciding factor and everyone else is expelled. Clearly, as at Oxford it's rough 50/50 state vs private as I recall which is disproportionate as only 8% are privately educated, or a similar figure.

    My points about international countries still stand. You can't point out their flaws in their political/economic positions to cover for their education.

    Firstly, the Chinese government is horribly corrupt. That is why the people of China are poor. It has nothing to do with sympathy towards weaker candidates. The best get through and the best get jobs there. This is how it should be. Of course, this notion favours the more wealthy. If the poor, however, work hard, they become wealthy. It's incentive in itself to work. Of course, in such a corrupt society, there are massive limitations. That doesn't mean the underlying concept is flawed.
    It's not about sympathy, it's about identifying raw potential and intelligence against adversity. Also, ofcourse the best should advance, but often this is not the case and only the best wealthy advance and intelligent poor minds are left behind as they are not given any opportunity, mainly stemming from a poorer form of education against their wealthy counterparts. If state and private education was on par, I'd be agreeing with you,

    The American socio-economic status is bad for numerous reasons. It's because of National Health Services such as ours that their individual medicine prices are so high. The NHS is an awful thing, and any Conservative should be able to see this. It's there to keep the working-class happy and voting. The primary concept of capitalism is people pay for what they want, when they want, and at a price agreeable to both parties. Pharmaceutical companies only charge so much because they can. If there were no markets for their drugs, they would find a way to make them cheaper to CREATE a market. SURE - you lose a few thousand people along the way, and sure - that isn't very humane of me but it means not STEALING from people who work for their money to fund a morally bankrupt system. The only reason I know all of this is because an old teacher of mine had a husband who ran a huge, British-based Pharmaceuticals production line.
    No the NHS is not an awful thing, without it many poor people would not have access to health care, as happens in America. Yes, in capitalism you pay what you want, but surely things like people health should be above this? Also, the pharmaceutical companies will always have a demand, because without drugs, illness doesn't go away.

    Essentially, if you had stopped the NHS at conception, individual wealth would increase. As of 2009, we spent approximately £1500 per capita per year on the NHS. That's every man, woman and child in Britain. I just went onto Bupa to find that with comprehensive cover (inc. cancer treatment) and included dental cover with a £0 excess it would cost me £79 per month. I don't know if you're any good at maths, but that comes to £950 per annum for a "20 year-old" (they wouldn't cover my 17 years-of-age ... ) And that doesn't increase a whole deal when I say my age is age 50.
    Don't forget, on top of that, the £1500 figure was from three years ago, whereby spending has increased quite a bit since.
    In essence, you're argument is completely correct and I agree with you. However if the NHS was stopped, people wouldn't get their £1.5k spent on healthcare bag, as tax rates wouldn't fall to account for this. If they did, fine, but they wouldn't, so you can't abolish the NHS. Also, things like Bupa still rely on the NHS and use NHS hospitals and such.

    I'm afraid your argument, on all accounts, is flawed.
    I'm afraid yours is, as you assume that everybody has the same opportunities in life, poor people don't, which means they will falter, if they did you'd be correct and I'd be massively incorrect otherwise.

    I'm a white working class man (lower class i suppose) and i strongly oppose this notion of positive discrimination because quite frankly it is insulting to say i can't keep up and also because it misses the point entirely.

    Whilst i do agree that a low number of male applicants is a concern this needs to be dealt with at school, we need a change in attitude towards education.

    Our first priority should be to institute an educational voucher system to allow poor students access to what is considered a world class private education along with bringing back a number of grammar schools.

    Our second priority is a change in attitude, my own experience was that in primary school i was very close to the top of my class and in year 10 was predicted all A-B grades and achieved these in my mock examinations however the attitude from teachers was appalling in that the goal was not to get A* grades but for everybody to get five C grades and so i was put in for the foundation papers to 'protect' my grade. I feel like weeping when i talk to my grammar school friend who said that getting less than an A was considered to be a dissapointment. Of course this is subjective depending on your own school experience.

    Also since universities are supposed to be private institutions i would rather government kept out and left them to it.

    Positive discrimination sucks.

    /white, middle class male rage
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