Labour must reject Goves's approach in its entirety
Posted: 05 Dec, 2012
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Click through for a comprehensive critique of Michael Gove's approach on the New Statesman site. In summary:
- False claims for the success of academies have been swallowed whole by an uncritical media, the government and the Labour opposition.
- Vocational/academic splits are invalid and undesirable pre-16.
- The C grade at GCSE has been corrupted by leagues tables and is not a reliable indicator of attainment. Its high stakes status distorts the curriculum and degrades the learning process.
- GCSE grade inflation is of such a scale that the GCSE system is no longer fit for the purposes for which it is used.
- Pupil cognitive ability is continuously variable and drives academic attainment in any valid exam system.
- School intakes vary enormously in average cognitive ability therefore schools cannot be judged on the basis of aggregate pupil exam results.
- Floor targets and OfSTED judgements based on them have no statistical validity.
- The false claims for the success of academies are based on exploiting easy vocational qualifications and/or admissions based on IQ type tests.
- Teaching methods have been corrupted by league tables.
- A return to behaviourist approaches of teaching to the test, cramming, repetition and revision is stunting the cognitive development of pupils and corrupting learning.
- League tables are making our kids dimmer and are causing the real decline in educational standards picked up by the internationalPISAtests.
- A future exam system should be graded on the basis of cognitive challenge in all subjects and promote teaching methods that engage and develop pupils' interests, attainment and development.
- The aim of the education system should be to raise attainment of all pupils of all abilities across the full grade range through a broad and balanced curriculum and by the use of teaching methods that promote cognitive development.
- This requires genuinely all-ability comprehensive schools operating in a co-operative locally managed system.
- Current Labour education policies do not address the key issues and are based on false assumptions.