Tuesday, 3 November 2009

State Education Fail. And We All Suffer


Boy, did I try to refrain. But this was bugging me all day yesterday and it just won't quit.

Tougher action should be taken against the thousands of parents who lie to get their children into popular schools, England's school places watchdog says.

Schools Adjudicator Ian Craig said an estimated 3,500 parents lied on school application forms each year.

Local authorities should use all means open to them to deter parents from cheating the admissions system.

This includes removing places from the guilty and pursuing them through the courts, possibly using the Perjury Act.

As someone who has experience of both private and state systems of education, as parent and pupil, I reckon I'm quite entitled to comment on this.

Now, let's get something absolutely nailed here right from the start. State education, as it occurs today, is quite simply shocking. It was ever thus since woolly socialist away-with-the-fairies-ism got stuck into the educational establishment, but the deterioration has since been exacerbated by each administration, of whichever political hue.

At the heart of the malaise is the quite horrendous assumption that kids are made of glass and should never, ever, be exposed to the realities of life or - and this is a treacherous desecration to the future of this country - be exposed to the fact that if they do something wrong, they will be punished. It is a policy that has failed, and failed again, yet is still pursued while, paradoxically, adults are infantilised and treated with disdain by the very same administrators.

The carrot is deemed the only tool to form our future adults, while the stick is the only method that should be applied to those who have already grown-up.

Kids being treated like adults, while adults are treated like kids, is a bizarre and intensely damaging policy, yet institutional failure in education is increasingly rewarded with further wrong-headed initiatives.

This is just the latest. That parents who care for their kids' education, in a seriously fucked-up system, should be threatened, without any admission that something is obviously very wrong if they are attempting such behaviour, is quite bizarre. Or it would be if it weren't so very appalling in its motives.

Cause and effect principles must surely, at some point, have occurred to those who administer the car crash that is our comprehensive system. If parents are taking such drastic measures to ensure a decent education, then the education they are being offered is poor and not fit for purpose.

But it's not what the network of air-headed loons want to hear, so they ignore it. Their only reaction, as always, is to insist that this is all you are getting, so you must like it (and our rules) ... or else.

What kind of society is it that would seek to jail a mother for wanting the best education possible for her kids. And what sort of society are we creating if we don't admit that such actions are a serious fucking warning sign of the woeful inadequacy of the current arrangements?

It's not just top end parents who are being punished, either. We've already seen how the state treats parents of truants.

In recent years in England, Scotland and Wales, the government has started locking up parents for up to three months if their kids bunk off.

On average one parent is now sent to prison every fortnight.

In Northern Ireland, parents are fined £1,000 if their children persistently miss school.

Different parental behaviour, same result. If you don't give a shit, you will be punished exactly as if you do.

Now, forgive me if you think this is facile, but my view is that truancy is another side of the same problem coin. Parents who wish their kids to be educated well are forced, in many cases, to throw their kids into the mix with the offspring of those who would rather not bother. What chance a future of well-adjusted, educated, useful members of society when the good, the bad, and the ugly are all thrown into an educational salad tosser and thrown around in the hope that something tasty might result?

No chance at all.

Or, rather, there is, but it would take a seismic shift in the mindset of the righteous fucknuts who currently infest the authorities who provide our schooling.

Now, this might seem to be a bit reactionary, but how about placing an emphasis on discipline? You know, that old idea of treating kids as ... well ... kids. It's an outdated concept. We have apparently 'moved on'. Schoolkids aren't expected to behave anymore, they are rewarded for doing so with Golden Time. They aren't to be disciplined anymore, as they have 'rights'. Respect for teachers is not to be expected anymore, they must earn it.

The inevitable result of such serious fuckwittery is that everyone loses. Those who wish their kids to learn are disappointed, those who couldn't care one way or another find that their kids are as useless as them.

Then it's out into the wider world where the justice system takes over. A system that sees the results of poor schooling on a regular basis, and does nothing, leading to more fail and further hideous damage.

Seriously, this has got to stop. Feral kids are produced by an educational system that is designed, and operated, on ideological principles that quite simply don't work. Never have, never will.

When the resultant produce from that system, in increasing numbers, are so very disgusting, the solution is not to criminalise those who have realised the dangers and wish for better but, instead, to admit the failings of the disastrous experiment that has been foisted on us, and try something different.

We are already blighted for a generation with the results of socialist touchy-feely crap schooling. Punishing those who have identified the crashing failure, and sought to address it, while righteous educators look the other way and pretend there is no problem, is arrogant, wrong, and distinctly sick.

UPDATE: Philip Salter has posted an article on the ASI blog along the same lines.

The whole approach of this report is wrong-headed. Instead of castigating parents for wanting a better education for their children, those in power should be asking themselves why parents are prepared to make so much effort to get their children into a good school. They should also look at how the schooling system needs to be reformed to allow this competition for places to engender the opportunities of excellence in education for all, rather than trying to cut it off at root.



8 comments:

TheBigYin said...

Let me state from the begining that I have no kids, and it's well to late for me and Mrs. Yin to have any, but I feel that parents and their children are being systematically pulled apart by the system that believes that they know better how your children should be taught and brought up.

If all parents thought the way you do the world would be a better place.

When your children are grown up they will thank you wholeheartedly for their upbringing.

Respect.

Tarquin said...

Respect has always been at the heart of education - it's basic human psychology, if the kids don't respect either the teachers or the concept of education itself then they're not going to listen

Previously respect through fear was prevalent, with the cane and parental discipline - but it was still being earnt, now they have to do it a slightly different way

Some of my teachers got it through fear, some through actually being liked, while the weak ones were hounded out like substitutes

Personally if a kid has no respect for anything, or fear of retribution, then I can only blame the parents

banned said...

I was lucky, the 1st year Comprehensive intake of a former Grammar School so had the benefit of those staff who chose to stay on right through to sixth form. Saw the school fall into wrack and ruin as the Polytechnic lefties took over the lower school. Things got so bad it was closed down soon after I left.

Looking back I can see that they played the same trick as when Royal Mail abolished " 2nd class Post ", they charged 1st class but delivered 2nd. What we have in reality is that all State Schools ( bar the couple of hundred hounded, demonised Grammars ) are in reality Secondary Moderns whose only hope for high achievement is the active involvement of caring parents who are precisely the type who might cheat to get their children into that sort of school.

bayard said...

If Maggie Thatcher's government didn't tackle what was then called "soggy liberalism" in the schools, what hope have we that anyone is going to now?

John East said...

Spot on Dick, I agree with every word, but there are two further aspects that I would like to highlight because they make educational reform impossible for the foreseeable future.

First, many socialists accept educational failure as a price worth paying to enforce their notion of equality, and as an added bonus I suspect they appreciate that a crap educational system delivers more ignorant and compliant Labour voters.

And second, following on from the first point, is the staggering acceptance, not just on the radical left, but right across the political spectrum including most of academia, of the "Blank Slate" hypothesis. That children are identical in every way at birth, and that any child doing better than the norm must, by definition, have received an unfair advantage.

Until these insane ideas are stamped out, and god knows how we can flush these mental aberrations out of the system now they are so firmly entrenched, then education is finished.

So in the greater scheme of things, punishing or not punishing parents for seeking the best for their kids won’t make much difference to the final outcomes for the majority, those parents who can’t afford to pay for a decent education. Perhaps this majority will wake up one day, and vote accordingly, but I don’t hold out much hope because, as Bayard points out above, there are no Thatchers waiting in the wings to give the left the good handbagging that is required.

JuliaM said...

"When the resultant produce from that system, in increasing numbers, are so very disgusting, the solution is not to criminalise those who have realised the dangers and wish for better but, instead, to admit the failings of the disastrous experiment that has been foisted on us, and try something different."

Yes, and quickly.

Before we get many more newspaper reports like this one.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"That children are identical in every way at birth, and that any child doing better than the norm must, by definition, have received an unfair advantage."

Good point, John East. And great comments all round.

While there is no radical on the horizon, I just wish that someone in the educational system would at least identify that the current methods aren't working.

Ignoring the problems and instead pulling out tired excuses, such as reports like Monday's, is not helping, and further perpetuates real problems in our society.

JuliaM said...

"...as an added bonus I suspect they appreciate that a crap educational system delivers more ignorant and compliant Labour voters."

Does it, though? Will these youths even bother to vote at all?

"...That children are identical in every way at birth, and that any child doing better than the norm must, by definition, have received an unfair advantage.

Until these insane ideas are stamped out, and god knows how we can flush these mental aberrations out of the system now they are so firmly entrenched, then education is finished."


Yes. This gets to the heart of the matter.