There were few enough reasons to vote Conservative vs NeueArbeit as it was. This has removed another.
He displays unreason in his argument. Grammar schools are "dominated by the middle class" he says, so lets turn our back on them is the answer. Willetts, you have fallen for the Sociofascist ploy of undermining something then using its weakness as "proof" it was wrong to start with. You have become a "useful idiot". Grammars are not performing properly in this regard because there are not enough of them and their catchments do not cover the country. How difficult is that to work out?
According to the Telegraph he is said to assert that
Now, 40 years on, children had such different experiences that it was a fantasy to think that an exam could fairly distinguish between them.
"Such different experiences"? 40 years ago middle class kids had very different experiences to the working class. Now, the issue is the chav mentality of entropy that has the upper hand. What David is implying is basically defeatist. He is abdicating. He is giving in to the State-sponsored entropy that is Welfarism. He is also yielding to the hat-stand idea of multiculturalism where people are encouraged and nurtured to grow up in ghettos. I consider chav to be a separate "effnik" culture to my own, btw. The reason why nonWorking Class kids live such a different life is because of the world of Welfarism and the lowest-common-denominator that is Comprehensive eductation ferments. David Willetts wishes to entrench that, even if he does not realise what he is doing.
The BBC reports that
In his speech he will say it is "fantasy" to think selection at age 11 can be fair.For an intelligent man this is a worrying statement. Selection at 11 is not fair, but it is the LEAST UNFAIR system we have available. It is irrelevent to talk about the unfairness of one system without discussing the unfairness of the alternatives. If you think it is unfair to at least try and find out who are the more academic kids, how unfair do you think it is to not bother and just leave them to rot in Comprehensive hell-holes surrounded by chavs who will root out the least sign of ambition and endeavour. The issue of selection at 11 is dealt with to an extent by allowing kids to migrate in to Grammar Schools after that time and in some way to reward the original school by publishing the fact. Imagine a non-Grammar school that has an excellent record for improving kids so they can hop to a Grammar before the GCSE coursework starts in earnest. Surely non-Grammars would fight for such "bragging rights". They would get those who failed the 11+ and give them a very achievable goal.
The entire country should be covered by the catchment area of at least one Grammar school so that bright kids of whatever socio-economic background can have a chance at bettering themselves. It would be good to have overlapping catchments as well, so Grammars compete with each other too.
Ideally schools would operate outside of the LEAs and use vouchers without top-up inititally, pending a review of that policy. Private companies should be free to compete for the vouchers. Non-Grammars would be encouraged to put forward their best for "promotion" to Grammars. Grammars would then be free to expell unruly children to enable the brigher kids who are now blossoming to take up the opportunity.
The Sociofascists hate such ideas as they know what it will mean - the proof that monopolistic State-controlled, State-provided education is utterly wrong-headed.