The Left attack bright poor kids criticising Grammar schools

Privatisation of Education as well as corporatisation and dumbing down of the National Curriculum. Exposure of organised criminal child abuse networks and their links with the establishment. Naming of individuals running the new privatised education 'charities' and their connections. Tactics used to ensure the silence and inaction of officials who fail to protect children. State ownership of children: Social Services failing to act against violent, abusive parents. Instead stealing children, with spurious excuses, ripping them away from good parents.

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TonyGosling
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The Left attack bright poor kids criticising Grammar schools

Post by TonyGosling »

As a working-class person who benefited hugely from grammar school, I hope more children are allowed that opportunity
The delusion that all children are of equal academic ability and can be taught in a one-method-fits all comprehensive system (if their parents can’t afford private education) has damaged thousands and thousands of young people and reinforced the class system that blights British society

Janet Street-Porter 3 days ago
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/gra ... 84126.html

Justine Greening wants new grammar schools to prioritise the bright children of families earning £33,000 with two children or £17,000 with one. Does that mean a two-tier selection process, with quotas and means tests on top of entrance exams? And if so, why is that a bad thing?

Back in the Fifties, I was the first person in my family to go to a grammar school. My parents were forced to go to work at 14 to support their families – Dad was an electrician and Mum a school dinner lady, so I suppose we would have been exactly the kind of people Theresa May is trying to help.

There was a huge celebration in our home (half a terraced house) when I put on my brand new blazer: it represented a real step up in the world for the Bull family. My father was bursting with pride as I had an opportunity he had been denied.

Back in the Fifties and Sixties, grammar schools educated about one in five secondary school pupils. Now, under Theresa May’s ambitious plan to create a fairer society, the new schools will cater for just one in 10. The new schools may not open until 2020 – and that’s if the Government manages to get its proposals through the Lords, where the Conservatives lack a majority.

As a product of grammar school education, I’ve nothing but praise for the system. The delusion that all children are of equal academic ability and can be taught in a one-method-fits all comprehensive system (if their parents can’t afford private education) has damaged thousands and thousands of young people and reinforced the class system that blights British society.

Just mention the phrase “grammar school”, however, and you’ll unleash rampant hypocrisy among the political classes. Theresa May (ex-grammar school) might be a cautious moderniser, but she appointed fewer privately educated people (30 per cent) to her Cabinet than Tony Blair, the Lib-Lab Coalition, John Major or Maggie Thatcher. That is a considerable achievement given what’s on offer.

At this level of government, we need the brightest and the best, not the products of an education paid for by rich parents. Grammar schools deserve support because they filter off the most academic kids and help them to grow and achieve their ambitions.

As far as stifling social mobility goes, I don’t buy that argument. By managing to pass an examination aged 11 and then a rigorous interview, I was educated with a group of young women from all social backgrounds. How else would I have met kids whose fathers were shopkeepers, accountants, lawyers, and plumbers? Girls whose families came from Iran, Pakistan and the rest of Europe, who just happened to be living in quite a large area of west London?

Selective grammar schools like the one I went to (Lady Margaret in Fulham, west London, now a comprehensive) had small classes and did not tolerate bad behaviour, sloppy social skills or unfocused learning. They insisted on rigour, rules, discipline and rewards.

When you leave school, you soon discover that there are people who are cleverer than you, who have skills you will never possess. You need the confidence to blend in at work, at a level which brings out your best qualities. What any school must do is focus on the different needs of all their pupils who learn at widely different rates. We already have streaming, so why the fuss about grammars?

Instead of getting angry about the creaming off of one in 10 of our most academic children, why not also focus attention on the lack of practical skills being taught to the least academic 20 per cent – the children who might want to be carpenters, plumbers, electricians, apprentices and builders? The kids we want to become our top chefs? All careers which require special skills can bring high rewards, and these are jobs we are crying out to have filled.

At 11, all children need to be literate and numerate – and we’re not even achieving that. After that, we need new technical colleges which have all the status of the grammars. Social mobility is only achieved when you feel confident about what you can offer society.

I learnt those skills at a school which actively promoted creative thinking and free expression through art, music and essay writing. I did not feel a freak or weird in that environment – an hour a week being sneered at in the local youth club was enough to convince me that I was better off spending each day being surrounded by swots.

Most parents support grammar schools, and would support more technical schools too. So why is Labour so hypocritical? Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Paul Flynn and Diane Abbott all attended grammar schools. Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s ultra-left policy advisor, sent both his children to one, as did Emily Thornberry. And yet Angela Rayner, Labour’s shadow Education Secretary, calls grammar schools a “vanity project”.

The next generation can’t be denied the ability to shine, so offer them more grammar schools.
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

THE COMPREHENSIVE FAILURE
by Robert McCartney QC, chairman of the NGSA
https://www.ngsa.org.uk/com-013.php

(An edited version of this article was published in the Belfast Telegraph on 12 March 2010 –
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opini ... 18095.html)

Alastair Walker’s philippic against the principle of selection and the grammar schools demonstrates all the frailties of the anti-selection lobby. It is redolent with emotional assertion, optimistic aspiration and an almost total absence of objective facts which would support their case.

The elephant in the sitting room which Alastair chooses to ignore is the mainland experience of the comprehensive system. Right on his doorstep and without doing a highly questionable tour of the world is the damning evidence which destroys his whole argument that the abolition of selective grammar schools would result in some utopian system of “excellent all ability schools that would serve our community every bit as well”.

There is no doubt that what he is arguing for is comprehensive education. The term “all ability school” is a synonym for “comprehensive school” – a term which for a very good reason he is unwilling to use. It is generally recognised by objective commentators that the systematic destruction of most of the grammar schools in England and Wales has been a huge mistake though politicians are reluctant to admit it.

In the 21st Century the United Kingdom simply cannot afford to educate its most able children less well than the best in other countries, if it is to compete globally. The comprehensive system is just not good enough to do that. International results put Britain so far down the league tables that its future place as even a second rank country is open to question. Since 2000 the rankings that compare the performance of children from different countries show that England has dropped from 8th place to 24th in mathematics and in literacy from 7th to 17th. The results of those counties in England that have retained a selective system, and in Northern Ireland, show that selection works better both for the very able and for students as a whole.

The inference underlying Alastair Walker’s article is that the price of some fall in educational standards is worth paying if non-selective education leads to a society with greater equality including a rise in upward social mobility. Sadly all available evidence shows that since the comprehensive system was begun not only have academic standards fallen but so has upward social mobility. One study looked at the income progression of a sample of people born in 1958 with a similar group born in 1970. It concluded that mobility fell markedly and that it was children from poorer homes who suffered disproportionately (London School of Economics, April 2005).

What the research demonstrates is that in many cases it is the affluence of the school’s catchment area rather than ability which is the determining factor of the school’s quality. Good schools and high house prices have reinforced each other resulting in children from poorer families being excluded from good comprehensives. The L.S.E. researchers found that just 3% of the children in the best performing comprehensives were receiving free school meals as against a national average of 17%. They concluded that academic selection had been replaced by social selection - exactly as it had been prior to the introduction of the qualifying selective system in the 1940’s which gave every child an equal opportunity on merit, not money. Minister Ruane’s policy of all children at age 11 going to their neighbourhood comprehensive would simply rob children from disadvantaged areas of the
chance to go to a good school on merit.

Under Northern Ireland’s selective system, 42% of students going to university are from lower income groups as compared to the 28% from similar groups in England’s comprehensive system. It has been suggested that the Northern Ireland figure is boosted by pupils coming from secondary modern schools but this merely demonstrates the quality of such schools which are far from being repositories of failure. Not only can their pupils transfer after G.C.S.E. exams to a grammar school for specialist courses but they can also pursue their university entrance qualification at a sixth form college.

Another false argument beloved by the anti-selection lobby is that in areas where there are grammar schools, they cream off the best pupils with corresponding damage to secondary moderns. Once again, research carried out by the Sutton Trust found no evidence of this occurring. On the contrary, many of England’s remaining secondary moderns are out-performing the comprehensives. In the Bristol education area which is entirely comprehensive, the percentage of 15 year olds achieving 5+ G.C.S.E. grades A* to C in the area’s 18 schools was 35.1 compared with the national average for secondary moderns at 42.3 .
When the fact that the comprehensives all ability intake included the top 25% of the ability range is taken into account the excellence of the secondary modern results is underlined.

Under a selective system, Northern Ireland has consistently out-performed England and Wales by 10% in it’s “A” level and G.C.S.E. results. In England, the remaining 164 grammar schools produced approximately the same number of grade A and B “A” level results in modern languages, physics, chemistry and mathematics as 1,500 comprehensives. At the level of academic excellence and in terms of upward social mobility for poorer children, the comprehensive system has been a disaster.

Only by a series of deceptions has the government and the educational establishment managed to disguise the extent of their disaster. First, they dumbed down the difficulty of the examinations. Second, they introduced non-academic easy option “A” levels. Third, they reduced the marking standards and, finally, they created school league tables in which they distorted academic excellence by equating an A grade in French or physics with an A in an easy option like media studies.

Anti-selection activists produce the same tired arguments that selection is a denial of social justice because it reflects not only intellectual ability but also environmental factors like home circumstances, neighbourhood and parental aspiration. The question, however, is why should aspirational parents and a literate home be the subject of criticism? The answer was supplied by Professor Brian Smith who declared that the comprehensive system was about equality and the selective system only about merit. Professor Smith, Professor Tony
Gallagher, and Alastair Walker, demonstrate their foolishness by believing that the advantages a child has from having aspirational parents and a stable literate home will be negated by the simple abolition of the grammar schools. All research in England establishes that the comprehensive system has widened social division as such parents buy houses near good schools or opt for some form of private education if they can afford it.

64% of parents told Martin Maguinness that they wished to retain the principle of selection. In England an opinion poll two weeks ago showed that 70% wished to retain the existing grammar schools and 76% wanted new ones to be opened. Perhaps Lord Adonis, until recently a Labour Minister in the Education Department, should have the last word. In a book he co-authored entitled “A Class Act, the Myth of Britain’s Classless Society” he had this to say:

“Grammar schools formally opened to all (on merit) by Butler’s Act enabled a proportion of working class children to mix with their similarly able middle class peers. The challenge for the next generation was to widen access to grammar schools. The comprehensive revolution tragically destroyed much of the excellent without improving the rest. Comprehensive schools have largely replaced selection by ability with selection by class and house price”.

Is this really an example for Northern Ireland to follow – a diminution in academic excellence, a rejection of ability and merit, a reduction in upward social mobility, and an increase in class division? This is surely an end that no means can justify, not even those means at the disposal of the Q.U.B. Education Department, C.C.E.A., the Education
Minister and perhaps even the Hierarchy.
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

How grammar schools came about.
= There is plenty on web and in history archives.

What different skills primary kids demonstrate other than academic.
= Only ability needed for 11 +are as per the exam papers - multiple choice questions. literacy/numeracy (keystage 2 level) if Primaries do their job properly. Grammar schools do outreach to the feeder primary schools to assist.

What results looked like in the thirty years or so they were the norm.
= over 90% 5 A* -Cs GCSE's

What about technical colleges etc. weren't there other options aged 11 and 16??
= Tertiary system Primary; selective Grammar secondary schools & Secondary Modern and technical colleges.

How and why grammars were replaced in 1976.
= Political decision favoured and enacted by comprehensivists.

Who was Shirley Williams and her own kids education.
= That is out of our remit today. Interesting but today what we need is the repeal of the 1998 Education Framework Act completed by Tony Blair and his Education Minister - Blunkett.

What are the stats around those changes results wise?
= I don't have any stats.

How many grammar schools were there and how many now left
= were 3000 plus Now only 164 and 3/4 of England have no grammar schools. The NGSA Website has a location map

Do kids still do the 11+
= YES it is voluntary. papers sent in and marked by "machine". Trial /practice exam papers available cheaply to buy if Primary schools do not wish to help identify able pupils whose parents wish them to sit the test.

Schooling by catchment area now
= NO catchment areas BUT free bus travel to secondary school is provided by the local councils.

Where are most grammars now?
= Situated in a quarter of England roughly. BUT geographically about 3/4 of England has no grammar schools.
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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