This speech was so deeply shocking in its politicking tone, absence of evidence and abuse of the facts that I have been puzzling for a while on how best to respond.
I will make a start by repeating John Mountford's comments on Janet's thread.
"I note your concern about the youngsters listening to the PM, Janet – “Let’s hope his young listeners saw through the electioneering.” However, after sitting through QT with ever rising levels of concern about the views expressed by the panel and roundly endorsed by the audience, I have to say I am not hopeful that people are seeing things as they are. It strikes me that no one, apart from commentators here and on sister sites trying to hold back a tide of miss-information about the true state of the education system, is in any doubt that schools and teachers are failing successive generations of children. With some doubt about the views held by Nicola Sturgeon, the panel was unanimous about the shocking levels of illiteracy and innumeracy in our schools, certain of our depressed position in international rankings and adamant that the only chance our young people have is assured by the ongoing academisation of the system.
I got to thinking when reading Cameron’s speech and later during the broadcast. If I was a Conservative voter, I would be confident of one thing, success in May. My reasoning being that the Party knows where it is going with education and the public is largely in agreement. If I were undecided, the groundswell of opinion and the conviction with which the ‘facts’ are being put forward would be strong inducements to look very seriously at voting Tory, especially if I was a parent and education was one of my main concerns.
Actually, as I have said before on this site, my interest in the election is a passing one only. My abiding concern, and it will not go away, is that in May we may possibly have another new Secretary of State for Education kicking off yet another protracted period of ‘political fixing’ of our education system when it would appear we don’t have any consensus about what education is for, nor what distinguishes a curriculum for the future from what we have now, nor why it is not good form to employ unqualified teachers, and a myriad other reasons.
YES Mr C., the system is broken, but not in the way you describe. Despite the seeming impossibility that it will happen before we have a national crisis in education (teacher training issues, exam reform, spring to mind, among others) time is running out for the present system of governance of education. It is only the lies of the political classes, aided and abetted by a cynical, unquestioning and lazy media that is preventing us from debating what is the only practical solution to the problem – getting politics out of education."
I agree so wholeheartedly with John that I decided to dissect Cameron's speech and provide point for point commentaries and refutations. I have done my best and posted it on my website here
.(Scroll down to the second blog)
It is too long to post in full here on LSN (it was a very long, scattergun speech).
I share John's frustration. But what can we do other than keep countering by pointing out the truth and drawing attention to the evidence so much of which is made available on LSN thanks to Janet.