Stories + Views
How much more misleading data will Gove and the DfE publish?
Time and again the Local Schools Network has exposed misrepresentation by Secretary of State, Michael Gove, and the Department for Education. Here are ten examples:
1 Academies perform better than other schools – not true.
2 Converter academies drive up standards – evidence doesn’t exist.
3 Maths standards have fallen over 30 years – Gove misled Commons.
4 Standard of food in academies is better than in other schools – not substantiated.
5 Channel 4 Factcheck said academies raise standards – not true.
6 Gove’s soundbites to Tory conference – not backed by evidence.
7 US charter schools are a success – based on flawed research.
8 Claims of free school advocates – not to be trusted.
9 Hong Kong supports knowledge curriculum – not true.
10 Singapore still uses ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels – TRUE, but no other high-performing nation has externally set exams like these at 16 and 18 that’s why Mr Gove only mentions Singapore. Even Hong Kong replaced ‘O’ and ‘A’ level type exams with a single examination in 2012 (see “What are the examination systems in other countries” in FAQs above).
Mr Gove still repeats the 2000 PISA figures for the UK which the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found are faulty. Undeterred by official warnings from the organisation that originally published the figures that they should only be used with caution, Mr Gove continues to show contempt to the OECD by ignoring its advice that the 2000 scores should not be used for comparison. But Mr Gove quoted the 2000 and 2009 figures in the Commons on 21 June 2012, two-and-a-half years after the OECD said they shouldn’t be used to demonstrate trends:
“The sad truth is that, if we look at the objective measure of how we have done over the past 15 years, we find that on international league tables our schools fell in reading from 523 to 494 points, in maths from 529 to 492 and in science from 528 to 514.”
But in his eagerness to repeat the incorrect figures he demonstrates his own mathematical ineptitude. A competent 7 year-old could tell him that 2009 – 2000 does not equal 15.