Friday, 10 April 2009

There is almost no money left to re-paper over the cracks.

Our educational system is crumbling. We have the LSC dithering about because it has run out of money (but not their own salaries, natch). We have Ed Balls passing the buck and basically being incompetent as the State runs out of money again and pulls the rug from under establishments. We have the dumbing down, the abdication of responsibility and the general rot at the core.

I am going to go into the quality of examinations which are the tip of the iceberg which indicates the quality of that hidden beneath the waves.

Before I do that, there is an excellent post by Leg Iron which rails against the bitter fruits being harvested in our Educational system and the thrust I solidly agree with.

Children have been "empowered" and adults have been intimidated and eviscerated as part of the cult of youth. Of course the Fabians and Righteous love the youth - they don't know enough to see through their lies. They are like Mao mischievously whipping up his Red Guards.

What I wanted to add to the piece was the following:

Many children are in the second generation of this madness. Their parents were brought up in the "no winners, all winners" mentality. Indulged. Appeased. Squeezed through a comprehensive, unstreamed sausage machine to end up like end-of-term Plasticine. Their studies steadily stripped of useful content, critical reasoning, facts and structure to be replaced with "understanding", "projects" and other mechanisms to inveigle opinion and propaganda and undermine the capacity for students to grasp the fundamentals that would enable them to expose the lies.

You can see the difference by comparing the IGCSE and the GCSE for domestic consumption. The IGCSE asks for facts and for the individual to show how they understand the topic. The GCSE just presents question after question of "Match the four answers to the four questions" or, at best, multiple choice. It does not even test knowledge much of the time for once one obvious question is matched, the chance of getting the others wrong reduces dramatically, especially if one or two combinations can be discarded - it is hardly a test at all!


From the IGCSE Question 1.

1 Four of the classes of vertebrates and five possible descriptions of these classes are shown


Draw a straight line to match each class of vertebrate to its description.






class of vertebrate description

body with naked skin, two

pairs of limbs

body with hair, two pairs

of limbs

body with feathers, one

pair of wings

body with scales, with fins

body with scaly skin, two

pairs of limbs or no limbs

Note that there are 5 descriptions and 4 classes.

On the GCSE, we have a picture of a head with numbers 1 to 4 pointing to the ear, eye mouth and nose.

Match words, A, B, C and D, with the numbers 1ñ 4 on the drawing.

A contains light receptors

B contains receptors sensitive to some liquid chemicals

C contains sound receptors

D contains receptors sensitive to some gaseous chemicals

Once you know what the term "receptor" means, 2 answers are in the bag. There remains the last two and even if you do not know what "gaseous" means (apart from describing the contents of the exam setter's skull), it is pretty certain that liquid has to refer to the mouth. There is no trick answer. Oh no, can't have the darlings presented with a falsehood, for that might make them question if what they read is right or not!

The second question will start to show you where the high road and low road pull away from each other.

First the IGCSE, giving a question more in keeping with our memories of exams...

2 (a) Many communities treat their sewage and release non-polluting water into a local river.

What is meant by the term sewage?

[2 marks]

(b) Sometimes the sewage treatment works cannot deal with all of the sewage and

untreated material is released into the river.

Suggest the likely effects of releasing untreated sewage into a river.

[4 marks]

Oh my gor-dedede - kids asked to think and reason? Possibility of their being wrong? Good.

Lets see how the GCSE exercises the mind of our future wealth creators...

Match substances, A, B, C and D, with the numbers 1-4 in the table.

A cannabis

B painkiller

C antibiotic

D statin


1 kills bacteria in the body

2 may lead to addiction to hard drugs

3 lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood

4 relieves some of the symptoms of the disease

Oh, another 4 questions and 4 answers. No attempt to see if incorrect information can be filtered out. Easy to use some form of elimination to get points even when some facts are not known. However one of the options (option 4) is actually pretty poorly put. Painkillers relieve PAIN. I suspect the author is confusing drugs like Paracetomol which can both reduce pain and lower temperature with the baseline concept of a painkiller. Doh!

Note also the subtle propaganda in Option 2.

Let us not jump to conclusions. Let us soldier on...

Question 3 in the IGCSE...

(a) (i) Name an organism from this food web that is a

primary consumer [1]

tertiary (third level) consumer [1]

producer [1]

(ii) Using information only from Fig. 3.1, complete the food chain.

→ → → → leopard [1]

(b) Fig. 3.2 shows a pyramid of numbers for a food chain from this food web.

Which organism in the food web would occupy the 3rd trophic level in this pyramid of numbers? [1]

(c) In some years a plague of locusts occurs.

Predict and explain what could happen to the population of baboons when this occurs. [4]

Currently we have a plague of Educationalist morons and the baboons are breeding like crazy, because the following is what the GCSE has to offer as its Q3...

Q3. This question is about IVF (in-vitro fertilisation).

Match structures, A, B, C and D, with the numbers 1ñ4 on the diagram.

A egg

B embryo

C fertilised egg

D sperm

Well, that really stretched me. Apart from the fact that the terms for IVF were not capitalised, the question is lame and certainly omits major key facts like how to claim for it off the NHS...(joke)

I shall not go on, for the GCSE is just a litany of matching equal numbers of statements together, or at best, multiple choice.

Question 4 in the GCSE is a ludicrous picture with a brain, spinal column, muscle and a dotted line from the finger to the spinal column. 4 arrows, 4 labels to match.

The IGCSE, on the other hand, has a cross-section of a flower and you have to label 3 parts. Now, this is infinitely harder as you need to know the parts. It is not "assign the labels to the arrows" but you have to find all three parts and draw on the arrow and correctly label it.

Where the GCSE has graphs where you have to match answers to questions, the IGCSE presents a table of data which you have to plot ONTO a piece of graph paper and then are asked your view on the data - "state, with a reason, the type of variation shown...".

I mean, I could go on but it is just so very sad to see that this is the level that 16 year olds are expected to aim for GCSE and that it permits all manner of subtle propaganda to be used. Is this simplicity needed because of the constant disruption? I mean, you hardly need a teacher to teach you the GCSE if that is what is called "testing".

The disease of "prizes for all" and covering up failure is still being forced upon the system. One teaching union and Ken Livingstone wants to end any form of parent choice at all, forcing kids to go to the nearest school, like-it-or-lump-it. How dare parents express an opinion?!!!! How DARE bad schools be exposed for what they are through lower rolls! How DARE schools want to decide what exam board or system they use!!!! Irony off.

It is a crying shame. I intend to see that schools are able to free themselves from the dead hand of the State so they will live or die on thier fitness for purpose, knowing that most schools will shape up when faced with that little understood (by Socialists) concept of competition. We need a surplus of places in any area so that if a school begins to fail, it can be abandoned as pupils find a better learning environment in other establishments.

It has to be done and, despite the plans of the Conservatives, which are not far enough and keep s the State's grip, the Libertarian Party is the only Party to really let schools, Heads, Teachers, parents and pupils shine.

1 comment:

AntiCitizenOne said...

>forcing kids to go to the nearest school, like-it-or-lump-it

Parents choose schools based on catchment areas. It will just raise house prices and price out poorer parents.

Another success for the state.