Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Amen, Sean

"Even before Mike Tomlinson reported on examination reform,everyone agreed, and competed at agreeing, that British stateeducation was a mess. Schools all over the country are turning out generations of innumerate, semi-literate proles. They have become places notable for bullying, truancy in its various shades, drugs, unwise sex, the occasional murder, and apervasive contempt for achievement.

Yes, there are those whose job it is to disagree with this proposition. Naturally enough, there are the teachers and educational bureaucrats; and thereare the relevant Ministers, who every summer put their names on news releases lauding the latest set of examination results. But everyone knows they are talking nonsense.

If examination results were an indicator of excellence, we should be living in a nationof Shakespeares and Newtons. In fact, grade inflation and a continuous debasement of the whole examinations system have made the results largely worthless. We can no more make people educated by giving them pretty certificates than we can make them rich by giving them bags of forged banknotes. State education is a mess...."

So read an email from Dr Sean Gabb that tweaked my attention this afternoon. Follow this link to the rest of the essay, a thought-provoking argument for the abolition of state education.


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