None but the brave …

Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Which school – or perhaps which headteacher – is going to be the brave one that decides to take a stand against the data and league-table madness that still prevails in mainstream schools in the UK?

Every year we are expected to “raise the bar” and meet a new load of FFT predictions. The way we do this is to massage, manipulate and effectively fabricate our students’ results so that the figures look good, but ask any students about the subject after they have finished the course and all you get is blank looks from most of them.

Of course, we also tell large numbers of students that they are producing work that is worthy of high grades and off they go from school, thinking that they know lots, when – if the truth were known – many of them know almost nothing. We are producing a generation without skills, without knowledge, without craft and without the insight to see what might lie before them.

Is it time to return to a “deschooling society” model?

What appears to happen is that FFT (Fischer Family Trust) bases their predictions on previous results including last year’s.

In practice, this means we are creating a rod for our own backs by pushing students and coaching students who then submit work that is wildly beyond their real ability and the school gets a wildly inflated set of results for the cohort. Almost all other schools are doing the same thing and the FFT then uses this data to inform its “predictions” of what grades “similar” students would have been expected to get.

So it is not difficult to see how the figures are likely to keep drifting upwards each year in a never-ending and quite nonsensical set of targets that we are meant to take seriously as targets for next year’s students.

No wonder our students can’t compete in the real world with students whose judgements about their own abilities are based on real results and real success.

We need to stop selling our kids down the river like this. It’s immoral, illusory and – because it allows Headteachers and others to bask in the so-called success of their students and then promote their schools as successful – I would say it is corrupt.

Categories: UKEducation

One Comment on “None but the brave …”

  1. Perhaps a headteacher of an Outstanding school?

Post a Comment