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The W - Current Events & Politics - Schools in UK have lost their minds
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Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1247 days
Last activity: 1044 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
God willing this type of insanity doesn't cross the ocean and takes root in the US....

First, how does one go through life never failing? How do you teach values of hard work and dedication to achieve and succeed? Easy, you take away their ability to fail!

YOU HAVEN'T 'FAILED' - YOU'VE 'NEARLY PASSED'

Pupils across Lincolnshire may soon be able to sit exams without fear of failing, when new government guidelines come into effect.

The guidelines, for marking key national curriculum exams, recommend that the current F grade, for 'fail', should be replaced with an N grade, for 'nearly'.

The guidelines were sent out to markers of this summer's exams by the Government's Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

They include instructions that maths exam answers should be marked as either 'creditworthy' or 'not creditworthy', rather than correct or incorrect.

The changes cover English, maths and science exams at key stages one, two and three, which are taken by seven-, 11- and 14-year-olds.

Youngsters who do not achieve a minimum mark, where the tests have a target of levels three to five, can be given a 'compensatory level two' award.

A spokesman for the authority denied that the marking scheme blurred the distinction between passing and failing.

The spokesman said the use of 'creditworthy' was appropriate because some answers to maths questions were worth several marks, and it was possible to get some marks even if the final answer was wrong.

Nick Seaton, the chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, described the changes as "political correctness gone stark raving bonkers".

He said educational managers were afraid to use the words 'right', 'wrong' and 'fail'.

* * * * *

Meanwhile in Scotland, lord only knows that protecting the feelings of little children is more important than protecting infestations...

Schools told not to warn parents about lice
HELEN MORGAN

HEADTEACHERS have been told to stop sending warning letters to parents alerting them to outbreaks of head lice in schools.

According to the Scottish Executive, raising the alarm "stigmatises" infected children and could cause them long-term psychological damage.

But the advice, issued to headteachers across Scotland by the Department of Health and Community Care, has been criticised by teachers, parents and politicians, who say it "reeks of political correctness" and will only exacerbate the problem.

Scottish Conservative health spokesman David Davidson condemned the instruction as "total nonsense".

He said: "This is just another example of political correctness getting out of control. It is being put before the health of our children and just displays how ludicrous our government really is.

"Research has shown that head lice do not differentiate between social class or type of school. The best-groomed children with the best-groomed hair can still become infected."

Representatives of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council also voiced outrage at the "nonsensical" move.

Convener Steve McColl said: "All my children have had head lice at one time or another and there is no stigma attached to it.

"The Executive is showing a lack of common sense in putting this forward.

"The only way we can stop people believing there is a stigma is to bring it out into the open and talk about it.

"This policy simply does not make any sense. If parents are not kept informed, the infection will just spread more easily."

Head lice are common in primary schools across the UK, with one in 10 children being infected every year.

The tiny insects live by sucking blood from the scalp. The eggs of the parasite, which are commonly known as nits, stick to hairs and hatch into scores of the tiny creatures within days.

Although a fifth of cases are among people over 16, the infection is more likely to be spread by younger children, who tend to put their heads together.

An infestation causes no significant health risk but is often embarrassing for children and their families.

Last night, one headteacher at a primary school in the southside of Glasgow said she would ignore the Executive’s instruction. "There is not a year goes by when we do not have several outbreaks of head lice, and I feel I would be failing in my duty if I did not alert parents to be on the outlook," she said.

"This is the kind of daft instruction that is issued by people who have no practical knowledge or experience of what goes on in school. No one gets embarrassed about having head lice now."

Despite the outcry, the Executive last night defended the policy. A spokesman said: "Louse infection still carries a heavy social stigma. It can be associated with inferior social status. Therefore, we do not want to embarrass parents or children in any way by issuing these letters."




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A-MOL
Frankfurter








Since: 26.6.02
From: York, England

Since last post: 3851 days
Last activity: 3793 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
Huh. I always thought that was the case for the Key Stage Tests anyway. Not that anyone pays any attention to them anyway - the Key Stages are basically worthless and most teachers unions are against the exams up to the point that many schools have boycotted the tests. But, still. Never mind, Grimis. Use one county and one school as an example to cover all UK schools for your vague generalisation of a countries education system. After all, we wouldn't want any kind of madness (observer.guardian.co.uk) in the US schools, would we?

Can we just be done with this, Grimis? Constantly, we have you posting 'crazy' stories of 'them there foreign folk' because their politics or policies do not fall in line with your thinking.

(edited by A-MOL on 29.9.03 1449)


...full of energy. Multi-orgasmic, if you will, in a cosmic sort of way."
Corajudo
Frankfurter








Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 84 days
Last activity: 17 hours
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.53
    Originally posted by A-MOL
    Huh. I always thought that was the case for the Key Stage Tests anyway. Not that anyone pays any attention to them anyway - the Key Stages are basically worthless and most teachers unions are against the exams up to the point that many schools have boycotted the tests. But, still. Never mind, Grimis. Use one county and one school as an example to cover all UK schools for your vague generalisation of a countries education system. After all, we wouldn't want any kind of madness (observer.guardian.co.uk) in the US schools, would we?

    Can we just be done with this, Grimis? Constantly, we have you posting 'crazy' stories of 'them there foreign folk' because their politics or policies do not fall in line with your thinking.

    (edited by A-MOL on 29.9.03 1449)


I think Grimis pretty consistently posts things about 'them there domestic folk' as well. Personally, I find him to be an equal opportunity cynic.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1247 days
Last activity: 1044 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Are these extreme examples? Yes. But the fact of the matter that this is embraced as some sort of good idea by the people administering our schools is awfully questionable and is a demerit against modern civilization.

As far as the link you posted, that too is a problem in more than a few small school systems.



ges7184
Lap cheong








Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

Since last post: 22 days
Last activity: 9 hours
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.29
Well, this is the politics forum. I would think this would be the place to discuss politics and policy opinions and disagreements. Maybe I'm crazy.

Generality aside (though I'm not sure Grimis meant that all UK schools are like that or not. Afterall, there are multiple schools mention, thus the plural use of school is correct. And they are both in the UK. And they have both lost their minds. So technically the thread title is correct.), I do find stories like these interesting (including the one you posted A-MOL). It interesting to see the mindsets in certain areas, even if it is just a local mindset. I mean, it wasn't so isolated that they couldn't get the rule changed within the school system. It's good to know about all the different viewpoints that are out there.

Of course, one thing about the 'PC' method of changing the terminology of 'failing' to something less hurtful is that it is a waste of time. As long as these kids have at least half a brain, and even if they fail they should, that part of the mind will be able to convert the letter 'N' to its true meaning 'F', which in turn means failing. It's just a different letter, using F as fail is as arbitrary as using A for excellent. My guess is that any kid who feels badly about a 'F' will just now feel badly about a 'N'. You can say it means 'nearly' all you want, but kids will figure out it's the lowest grade you can get, and will react accordling. The same thing applies to 'not creditworthy'. The kids' mind will convert that information as meaning 'wrong'. So the whole thing is a pointless exercise designed to make some adult administrators feel better about themselves.

The other story is nonsensical, reasons being pretty obvious. However, if the outcry is as loud as the article makes it appear, it would seem that this would be a short-lived policy. However, I think they should also question the current Executive's aptitude for the job.

The last article, on Darwin bans in schools, I have problems with. One, it doesn't seem to have any actual evidence of what they claim to be happening. The article claims that U.S. schools are banning Darwin from class, but fail to produce one instance. The article seems to be based on some survey, but they produce very of it in the article. The part of the survey that they actually print is something about 45% of Americans believing life was created in the last 10,000 years. That has little to do with throwing Darwin out of school. And depending on how the question was phrased, the results may have as much to do with a lack of historical and scientific knowledge as it does with religious beliefs. The only other mentions about this include Kansas blocking Darwin, but being overturned. Also, Ohio is CONSIDERING banning Darwin, which is not the same as banning Darwin. And the vague "even New York and Massachusetts are turning against evolution", which means what exactly?

There's no really big movement for this, nor was there one a year and a half ago when this article was written. Sure, there are isolated incidents here and there about this, but they are just that, isolated. I'm guessing that Scientific America is some paranoid organization, and it probably bothers them if a single school even mentions anything besides evolution. So they try to use fear to make sure that doesn't happen. While you accuse Grimis of using isolated cases to make a overall generality, I find it interesting that you didn't have to with your post. The Guardian did it for you (and in fact, did it without citing a single actual incident). It's one thing for some guy on a wrestling message board to do something like that, but it's quite another for a mainstream newspaper to do the same thing. At least Grimis had some real evidence, however anecdotal and isolated it may be (and once again, assuming his real point is that all UK schools are insane, not just to post examples of UK schools that are).

But I find this all interesting. I think it's OK to have different opinions on things, and it's OK for one person to think something is 'crazy', while someone else disagrees. But I would agree that someone who uses some isolated story to make a general assumption about a larger region is using faulty logic.







(edited by ges7184 on 29.9.03 1013)

(edited by ges7184 on 29.9.03 1014)

Everything that is wrong in this world can be blamed on Freddie Prinze Jr.
ShotGunShep
Frankfurter








Since: 20.2.03

Since last post: 2515 days
Last activity: 2402 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.42
GES7184, most students would equate an F with an N, but these tests are being taken by seven year olds. When you plant something that young, it can be hard to get it out. Some students would figure it out, while some wouldn't(well not for a long time).
Nate The Snake
Liverwurst








Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

Since last post: 3726 days
Last activity: 3196 days
AIM:  
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.24
Haven't US schools been doing something like this for a long time, now, though? I distinctly remember, even ten years ago when I was still in school, that "F" was in the process of turning into "unsatisfactory" instead of, well, what it actually means, because of the horrible damaging effect failure has on the self-esteem of failures. (:

Not that it's any less loony for the length of time it's been around. You flunk a test, it's a failure. I thought the "D" was supposed to symbolize "nearly passing" anyway.



Kansas-born and deeply ashamed
The last living La Parka Marka

"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1247 days
Last activity: 1044 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
In the name of equal opportunity, California finds it necessary to try and disrupt a Caucuasian club at the "diverse" "Freedom High School"...



2003 WORLD SERIES

vs

Please Believe It!
Big G
Potato korv








Since: 21.8.03
From: the people who brought you Steel Magnolias....

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 23 hours
#9 Posted on
Ah yes the PC crowd, coming to a town near you.
My university (yes I am one of those morons who studies nights) gives "ungraded" as the grade for failure. Another one I have come across is Competent for a pass and Approaching Competence for a fail (or more work req'd). Still all means the same, you have to do the subject again.

It reminds me of the time in an old job where they recalled all of the triplicate pre-printed job forms we used so they could change the phrases Manhours and Delayed Manpower to Workhours and Delayed Workpower. They didn't change the computer system though so the code was still DMAN for Delayed Workpower.

All the talk of head lice takes me back to the halcyon days of groups of kids surrounding one unfortunant and pointing and chanting "NITS NITS NITS"! It upset them a bit but they seemed to be OK after a while.

I wonder whatever happened to little Charlie Manson anyway

:)

(edited by Big G on 29.9.03 2001)


Warrior Quote: "Presuming initial consensualness, where exactly do we draw the lines of our judgment pinning down the responsibility and accountability inextricably attached to each human life? "

Umm Indeed!
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I had a whole long post here, but I thought it kind of got off on a tangent, so here's the extremely cut down version: I'm not sure rehabilition has any place in this discussion, as it is mutually exclusive with the death penalty.
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