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Gove complains about our country being held back internationally by low marks while at the same time his government has withdrawn from international competition in everything except the financial sector.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.”