Guinea Pigs

WE hate exams. Really, really, really. When teachers become lab scientists and learners become lab rats then you know something is wrong. Testing DOES NOT equal learning. What testing only achieves is assess the environment of the students i.e. their parents, peers, school, subculture and social class. By grading students you are simply putting into stone what education is supposed to counter. Meritocracy doesn’t exist. There is no starting position or blank slate. To try to factor in such variables with complicated mathematical models is to simply delay the inevitable.

Lab Rat

The DfES is obsessed with exams because civil servants believe in them. And why wouldn’t they when they have gained from a system of exams from 11 until they pass their Civil Service Examinations. This system has allowed them to progress in life so “won’t it jolly well work for the oiks?” you can hear them say (and never forget also the reason for the first exams centuries ago – they were designed to select from the privileged the most able to perform their duties in the Imperial Chinese Civil Service). No surprise that higher civil servants are predominantly white, middle class and Oxbridge educated. The privilege succeed at exams; the poor don’t. The annual univerisity intake clearly illustrates this: roughly 1 in 10 at private school but 1 in 2 or worse from private school at top unis.

Swivel Servant

A fair system would be a lottery in the same vein as that used by Brighton council to place kids into oversubscribed schools. Better still bus kids from poorer backgrounds to private school or scrap them altogether.
This inegalitarian system perpetuated by privilege, non-plussed DfES mandarins and a servile national press harms our future and is wholly responsible for gang violence and alike.

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