This article was brought to brought to my attention this morning. In it Michael Gove some of the most self-deluded nonsense i have ever read (he also fails somewhat by spelling Massachusetts wrong!).
Gove tries to compare his private school education to that of high school children in Merseyside. He complains the type of education he got at the fee paying, selection by exam Robert Gordon College is not what England’s state schools offer. Of course if he means that they do not offer an elite few an advantage over poorer or less able students, he’s right. The concept of Equality of Opportunity for all regardless of background is the foundation of state education and a total anathema to the private schools industry that Gove loves so much.
The Minister paints a picture that education in state schools is blighted by teachers, unions and local authorities that are striving to deprive state pupils of a good education. He states that his government is ensuring that, “Every child can succeed” whilst at the same time setting up inflexible processes that will ensure that every child will not succeed.
He claims that he is recruiting more highly qualified teachers by which he means he is freeing up academies and free schools to employ non-qualified staff as teachers.
As far as the exam system is concerned Gove tells us he has restored “rigour” when in actual fact he means he’s rigged them, He’s devalued subjects like technology, drama, art and music. He has really show his ignorance over the new OFSTED inspection regime. In order to be graded better than “requires improvement” schools must now be above the national average. Now Mr Gove, I know I’m a maths teacher and you are, well an idiot really, but surely you understand that at anytime half of schools will be below average because that’s the nature of an average! Nothing will change that never, it’s a mathematical fact. Imagine if driving tests were judged in the same way. A student would take their test then wait until the end of the year to find out if they passed by being in the top half of candidates. Lunacy. Gove says he wants all schools to be good or outstanding but then sets up a system to ensure that can never happen. Why?
Gove complains about our country being held back internationally by low marks while at the same time his government has withdrawn from international competition in everything except the financial sector. The very sector that destroyed our economy!
Performance-related pay is one of the biggest obstacles to improving standards yet. Teaching improves when teachers identify areas they need to develop and work with other to improve. That results in an improvement across a school.
Gove has built himself a legacy of destruction of education. He spouts on about liberty and cites Blair who talked about freeing schools from political interference. The truth is he interferes constantly for political gain and harks back to an old system that failed the many and advanced the few.
At the start of this article I asked whether Michael Gove was Lying or Deluded, I think he’s both.
Education Secretary Michael Gove is a man with a stated mission: to respect the wishes of teachers and parents, to get central away from central government and into the hands of local people. Of course, if you are a teacher or parent you probably won’t believe this. Governors at Downhills Primary School, Haringey certainly don’t. Just days after Gove branded those who opposed his academies programme, “ideologues,” who were, “happy with failure,” lawyers acting on behalf of Downhills’ governing body have issued a Statement of Claim to the Department for Education (DfE) over what it considers the illegal attempt to force the school into academy status. Gove must reply within the next two weeks or face a judicial review.
Teachers, governors and over 90% of parents who returned a school questionnaire said they where happy with their child’s experience at the school are against the move. Despite this Gove is using his powers to force the school into academy status.
Roger Sahota, a Downhills governor told The Observer “We are saying the secretary of state has acted unlawfully by forcing Downhills to become an academy and that action is premature in advance of the next Ofsted inspection.”
The schools Headteacher, Leslie Church added: “I am neither for nor against academies. I think it is right for communities to decide what school they have. Therefore, if the drive to change all schools to academy status is something the government wishes to pursue, I think that is something that should be put before the electorate as a manifesto. Outstanding schools are being encouraged into academy status, schools at the bottom end are being forced to become academies, so that leaves schools in the middle and basically my understanding is the financial viability of local authorities is left in the balance.”
Education Secretary Michael Gove has stepped up the Tory’s attack on teachers and state schools today by accusing anybody who opposes his academies programme of being, “enemies of promise” who are, “happy with failure”.
The government wants all schools to become academies saying that it will cut bureaucracy, free-up Head Teachers and improve standards. England’s worst performing 200 schools are set to be forced into academy status under powers granted the government in The Academies Act 2010.
At a speech at a London academy Mr Gove said: “The same ideologues who are happy with failure – the enemies of promise – also say you can’t get the same results in the inner cities as the leafy suburbs so it’s wrong to stigmatise these schools.
“Let’s be clear what these people mean. Let’s hold their prejudices up to the light. What are they saying?
“If you’re poor, if you’re Turkish, if you’re Somali, then we don’t expect you to succeed. You will always be second class and it’s no surprise your schools are second class.
“I utterly reject that attitude.”
One union leader has described his comments as insult to teachers.
Another, Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “The assertion that the opponents of the government’s forced academy programme are ‘happy with failure’ is an insult to all the hard-working and dedicated teachers, school leaders, support staff and governors in our schools.
“If academy status brought the benefits claimed by the government why have so few of England’s schools opted to convert?
“The forced academy programme is about bullying schools into academy status against the wishes of school communities and their local authorities who are best placed to judge what support any particular school may need, not an external sponsor with an eye to the future profits to be made out of the government’s programme of privatising England’s schools.”
While Brian Lightman, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It is not the act of academy conversion which raises standards in schools and ASCL strongly refutes the suggestion that all those who have not opted for conversion are ‘ideologues who are happy with failure’.
“There are many highly successful schools working with their local authority and partner schools; they are not the “enemies of promise” but professionals dedicated to improving the lives of young people.
“The keys to school improvement are excellent teaching and leadership and a relentless determination to stamp out failure.”
- Gove broadside at academies critics (mirror.co.uk)
- National News: Gove broadside at academies critics (coventrytelegraph.net)
- Letters: Stop this bullying over academy status (guardian.co.uk)