Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gove Betrays Us All

I rarely post anymore but I have to register my fury, if only into an echoey tunnel , at Michael Gove. This morning ,on Marr, he informed us he will be giving in to the NUT, and allowing them to avoid any accountability for their behaviour, by scrapping SATS at Primary level. I have to think very hard to recall any Conservative talking such mendacious bilge.
Teachers do not like SATS because they allow parents to judge whether the school is performing adequately or not. Local authorities do not like SATS because the knowledge that a local school, is failing does not help them herd children, like worthless cattle, into whatever box suits the bureaucrats.People like M Gove do not care ,because his brood will either attend Prep school, or his house/s (!!!) will be in a such a salubrious area it ceases to matter.
For those of us not as insulated we need the facts .Gove's suggestion that it would be possible to track back secondary school results to the school is the teenisest of fig leafs. If, by any chance ,this was true then what would be the point ? Presumably school would continue to ,"teach the the test" ,by which "Teach at all " is generally meant .

Some Secondary schools test whithin weeks of entery, but are these tests homogenous ? Will it really be possible to work out which Prinmary school is performing ? Not a chance; and if it did , see above ,as they say .SATS furnish invaluable information invaluable because it is nationally comparable and straighforward .
My own young children are sequentially entering Primary school and those parents who cared and understood, wanted to talk about years of SATS results in detail. The headmaster at the school we chose told us exactly what measures had been taken following a poor year, and was able to reveal the as yet unpublished improvements . We absolutely cannot do without this .
Cameron knows the whole Public Sector from teachers to bin men are going to have to take a hit on their pensions and salaries .He will therefore be looking for anyway to appease them that does not cost money . Well I am sorry but my children are not paying .I hope you have got that Gove.? My children are not paying for a plot to keep the Unions sweet. Furthermore ,as we are all paying for your children it is even harder to listen to you sounding like an oily New Labour apologist
I will compromise on most things but not this . Never this

16 comments:

lilith said...

Oh Newmsie, I don't think that is why teachers don't like SATs. The best way of judging how a school is performing is to spend time in it. SATs strike me as self defeating. They mean that brighter and average children are bored whilst the less able in their year group struggle. If assessments are to be made they should be done when the child is ready and check their actual ability rather than test them only to the "satisfactory for their age" level. SATs for seven year olds just slow things up and make school boring. Kids have such a massive range of abilities at that age.

I still feel the best way to judge a school is word of mouth combined with several inspections to satisfy yourself.

Newmania said...

I still feel the best way to judge a school is word of mouth combined with several inspections to satisfy yourself.

That , obviously and the SATS results . On our area there is a school about which everyone speaks very highly . It did very poorly in maths though , far below the National average

That is important to know and during the rounds of chats wityh headmasters we completed , everyone was armed with the results

Thats what they don`t like

Newmania said...

test

lilith said...

You still don't need SATs at 7 to find out how the kids are doing in Maths. Just ask to see some exercise books when you visit the classrooms. If they show you their best pupils work and you think it is poor for their age/compared to other schools you know it is not going to be good enough.

mutleythedog said...

SATS are rubbish mate. They do more harm than good and I would be happy to see them gone.

apricotfox said...

I have first hand experience of teaching SATS. THey are TRULY DREADFUL. They allow poor teachers to teach by yick box and frustrate the hell out of good teachers.They do NOT detect intellect/creativity/higher level thinking/cognitive skills. They make school and studying reductive and uninspiring.
A good teacher will always test...to ensure that they have actually taught something which has stuck to the sides but SATS are NOT the way. the 'best' SATS teachers are often the very worst real teachers of all.

apricotfox said...

Sorry..I can spell! Just overcome with emotion...TICK box

Newmania said...

Then how do you suggest the rest of us discvover if a school is working other than in the opinion of its teachers?

apricotfox said...

I would introduce a sort of variant on the eleven plus..verbal and non-verbal reasoning, maths and comprehension. Children then learn HOW to learn and how to use their native wits rather than being processed. This test would pick up on aptitude/ learning style preference .
The schools children go on to will give you a better idea of how good their feeder schools are...so speak to them and work backwards..

Newmania said...

The schools children go on to will give you a better idea of how good their feeder schools are...so speak to them and work backwards..


If there was a nationally homogenous test so you could actually see how a Primary school was doing then I assume all the terrible things like "Teaching to the test" that go on, would continue to goon, and we might just as well stay as we are . Coincidentally this would suit every single Parent I know in the same position as us . There are no such plans so we have simply removed the only part of the system as Parent I appreciate .

I `m not sure quite what you mean by a sort of eleven plus not re introducing Secondary Moderns I hope Disadvantage acquired at Primary level persists and it is not good enough to be dis-empowered in this process . Who pays for it ? I do not understand what you types of learning are supposed to refer to but what I would like a rigorous tests which show what they have learnt and what they have not learnt . Simple transparent and accountable .

Thats what we need , that’s what we pay for and that’s what we are owed . Incidentally as I will soon have three sons ant the same Primary I am going no try to get on the board of governors . We`ll see what insights that produces

Newmania said...

The schools children go on to will give you a better idea of how good their feeder schools are...so speak to them and work backwards..


If there was a nationally homogenous test so you could actually see how a Primary school was doing then I assume all the terrible things like "Teaching to the test" that go on, would continue to goon, and we might just as well stay as we are . Coincidentally this would suit every single Parent I know in the same position as us . There are no such plans so we have simply removed the only part of the system as Parent I appreciate .

I `m not sure quite what you mean by a sort of eleven plus not re introducing Secondary Moderns I hope Disadvantage acquired at Primary level persists and it is not good enough to be dis-empowered in this process . Who pays for it ? I do not understand what you types of learning are supposed to refer to but what I would like a rigorous tests which show what they have learnt and what they have not learnt . Simple transparent and accountable .

Thats what we need , that’s what we pay for and that’s what we are owed . Incidentally as I will soon have three sons ant the same Primary I am going no try to get on the board of governors . We`ll see what insights that produces

apricotfox said...

I refer to the eleven plus as a guide to different manifestations of intelligence and academic ability. Children learn and use information in different ways: by reading/listening/experimenting/doing/speaking. You have a look at a SATs test..it really is a dumbed down test with a VERY dumbed down marking scheme which requires children to be trained to use certain words in their answers so that some numptie marking it can do so without g=having to engage brain/exercise judgement. That is why I object to it so much. As to Secondary moderns..no, not advocating that BUT I do think this ridiculous notion that every child should be treated as if he/she were academic and should all go to UNI ( Gaaaagh!) is ludicrous and does no-one any good, least of all the kids who think they know it all because they got a shed-load of dumbed down GCSEs or went to some Mickey Mouse UNI to read some Mickey Mouse degree which consisted of about 3 hrs of teaching MAX a week and course ends in April. RIDICULOUS!
You are an intelligent person...can you really not tell how your children are developing intellectually?
The best guide really is: word of mouth/where children end up (university etc), staff turnover (if Head has been there a while), the Head..does he inspire/lead/have a vision?
The other thing about SATS is they do NOT cater for REALLY bright children. Trust me...a level 4 at the end of primary is no great shakes...and yet that is what a self-satisfied state school will pride itself on achieving with the majority of its children. Never mind that the choldren have not learned how to think...

hatfield girl said...

N, your children are facing an obstacle course. You have paid for their education with extravagant levels of tax, but you are not supposed (or they are not supposed) to benefit from your payments. They, and you are to accept what you are given and, more importantly, accept what is required of you and them for there to be any possibility of state schooling playing any profitable part in their life chances.

You must limit in any way you can the time they waste in 'school'. You must determine what constitutes an esential input at a point in their intellectual development, and provide it. And you must maintain an urbane smile while the children waste hours of days of their time learning disreputable and specifically destructive behaviours both intellectual and social, in a place you despise.

Do not fight this as an educational system that affects your children. You will only damage them. Educate them and, meanwhile, keep them out of the war zone.

Newmania said...

AF
1 I am not talking about judging my children I am talking about talking about making a judgement about the school .
2 If these tests are so easy it is even worse that some schools conspicuously fail to achieve a decent level
3 I think you have not taken into account the severe problem of asymmetry of experience and information between teachers and parents . Simple is useful you don’t know where to start.

I am afraid we are not going to agree although I accept your sincerity

Hi HG how very nice to see your virtual self . We will do out best, my brother moved from Banking to teaching some seven years ago and his insights are such as to bear out ones worst fears .( Thus far my lot are showing a great aptitude for being noisy and that’s about it )

lilith said...

As HG points out, SATs are probably the least of your worries. I'll put money on you ending up home educating! My Girl was tested to level 3 at age 7. Top marks across the board. Trouble was her reading was already "level 3" when she was 4 and a half years old.... So it was no indication of how My Girl was doing at all.

Newmania said...

Don`t think I can fit home teaching around work L and in any cxasee are quite happy with thelocal school which has performed pretty well and has a good reputation

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