Common Sense from this Government at last

  peter99co 18:46 07 Sep 2008

SATS Scrapped?

click here

  LinH 21:07 07 Sep 2008


Common sense from this crippled administration I doubt it. With less than two years to go before an election everything they do is geared to make themselves re-electable; sadly, common sense is not part of the equation.


  LinH 21:09 07 Sep 2008


There should be a question mark after the word administration.


  peter99co 22:17 07 Sep 2008

The common sense is the scrapping of SATS I wait to see if they go through with the idea.

  Forum Editor 22:48 07 Sep 2008

how, if the system can't manage to mark a test that is sat by all children at the same time, it will possibly be able to cope with "assessments tailored to the ability of each child".

Furthermore, I can't for the life of me see how susch a system would enable anyone to judge whether an individual had reached the standard that was considered appropriate for children of that age. If you tailor tests to each child's ability you are surely not testing anything at all - you're simply acknowledging the blindingly obvious fact that different children have different abilities, and getting them to confirm it.

We seem to be going backwards rather than forwards in the way that we structure our education system. Decades ago we acknowledged the fact that some children were more suited to an academic style of education, and that others were less so. It seemed to work fairly well, and we turned out people who could read, write, spell to a reasonable standard, and had the opportunity to pick up some other skills along the way - sport featured quite prominently, and practical skills, like woodworking, metalworking, and cooking were taught in all secondary schools. Admittedly there was a sexist element to it all - girls cooked, and boys made magazine racks - but that was a reflection of the world as it was.

Now we have a way of thinking that seems to run something like this:

'let nobody ever feel that he or she might for a moment have failed in any way. Let's not worry too much about spelling and grammar, because they aren't that important, and in any case the teachers themselves may not be able to spell to save their lives. What's important is that children feel they are achievers, even if they're not. Let everyone coast through secondary education as smoothly as possible, and let's not worry unduly about exams - we'll have course work, and there can be second chances if someone doesn't get it right the first time. Then, when the A level results still aren't so great we'll have a university system that will virtually tailor a course to suit every possible combination of bad results, so almost every student can get a degree before swanning off around the world on a gap year - anything rather than going out and seeking gainful employment.

When the travelling's over, and parents have run out of patience and money it will be impossible to put off the evil day any longer, and employment will have to be sought. There's a limit to the number of media studies jobs available, so most people will have to settle for working.

Cynical? Undoubtedly, but I'll bet most thinking adults recognise at least some of that in their own experiences. It's time we stopped tinkering endlessly with the education system in the hope that we'll miraculously produce a generation which will make everything right in society, and started understanding that human beings are by nature a tad competitive, and that people who don't win, or even come second might occasionally decide to drive themselves a little harder next time.

We can't all be winners, but give us the chance to run in a race. There's no need to have a lot of disadvantaged people at the end - a sophisticated society should be perfectly capable of devising a system of education that allows everyone in it to understand the differences in us, and of making sure that we all have a chance to fulfil our potential. It isn't necessary to create something that's bland beyond imagining, in the belief that all that matters is classrooms full of angst-free children.

  DieSse 23:51 07 Sep 2008


They do say "Cynicism is the last refuge of the idealist"

I agree with you virtually 100%.

And as a comment in general - it's simply not possible for EVERYONE to be a captain of industry, or a professor or something, or indeed top of the tree in anything. Only a very small number will do that.

In life some rise, some don't - it's inevitable, everybody can't rise to the top. Just put your all into whatever you do, and do it to the best of your ability.

Oh - and try to read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and learn to value yourself in whatever you do.

  Forum Editor 00:11 08 Sep 2008

I've noticed a disturbing tendency for us to be in agreement on things of late and I feel we must guard against it, otherwise we'll have little to sustain us throught the cold, dark winter nights ahead. Cold for me that is - you won't be cranking up the thermostat quite so vigorously.

  Si_L 00:48 08 Sep 2008

Last year our next door neighbours kids was taking his SATs at the age of 7, and he was worried as hell. Kids that age shouldn't be stressing about exams!

  DieSse 00:50 08 Sep 2008

" won't be cranking up the thermostat quite so vigorously."

I'm sitting in my "office" at 01.46 local time - and the temperature is 28.5ºC right now. We've been sitting in the sun at my son's house today - and my wife says the pools still nice and warm.

Forecast getting colder this coming week- perhaps as low as 26-27º


  Chegs ®™ 03:15 08 Sep 2008

I was discussing my daughters school report with my partner and comparing it to previous reports from junior school.In the junior school reports was repeated comments about handwriting and in the secondary school report were none.My partner picked up on this and was adamant that our daughters handwriting was much better,and seemed perturbed when I explained that by secondary school handwriting was not considered worthy of marking as grammar and punctuation had become the focus.

The more that the education system is meddled with,the greater the chances of children leaving school armed with umpteen O levels,GCSE's or whatever and not actually be able to read or write.I would hate to be an employer of the future as I wouldnt have a clue what an applicants education level is going to be if they abandon SATS or any other tests of a childs intelligence.

  peter99co 09:14 08 Sep 2008

I had an invitation to a 21st birthday party and found it difficult to read.

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