May 28, 2004
"A strategy is in place …"

More doom and gloom, to echo what those Cambridge professors (see previous posting) were saying:

The education system is "in danger of implosion" because of falling standards, North-East business leaders have warned.

And proposals to revamp schooling between the ages of 14 and 19 will do nothing to address the North's serious skills shortage, according to the CBI.

It discussed a plan to replace GCSEs and A-levels with a four-tier assessment at a regional council meeting this week.

The proposals, unveiled in February by a working group headed by former chief inspector of schools Mike Tomlinson, were designed to ensure everyone leaves school with basic skills.

But CBI North-East director Steve Rankin said: "Falling standards will not be addressed. There's a real need to concentrate on three things: basic numeracy, basic literacy and attitude."

This educrat reply does not inspire confidence.

A spokeswoman for Newcastle City Council said: "Pupils deserve to be congratulated on their success, which we are sure they will take with them into working life. Newcastle Local Education Authority already has a number of successful strategies in place to improve levels of literacy and numeracy."

"Successful strategies are in place." Not: "You are wrong, our kids can read and count." So, the problem is as it is said to be by the complainer, in this case the CBI man. And a "strategy" being "in place" means that so far no improvement in the situation has actually occurred. Right?

Plus, note that the spokeswoman doesn't even say that there is a "strategy in place" to deal with "attitude", so God knows what is happening to that.

Incidentally, Patrick Crozier has been looking over my shoulder and has been saying: "I can't believe it throws out numeracy". What did be mean? It turned out he meant my spellchecker. It puts a squiggly red line under "numeracy". Great. My spellchecker is illiterate about numeracy.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 10:58 PM
Category: LiteracyMaths