Tuesday, July 12

Rate schools on access to universities

No, lets not.

What’s this about? Well, the head of the University Admissions says that schools should be rated based upon how many pupils go on to university. I quote:

Ucas chief Mary Curnock Cook says league tables have led schools to "unduly" focus on upping GCSE results.

She argues the focus should now switch to schools' higher education success to boost the number of poor pupils in universities.

The government plans to publish data on the destination of schools leavers.

Ucas chief executive Mrs Curnock Cook said: "Schools for many years have been completely focused on getting their percentage of five good GCSEs up.

"Until the government measures and tracks the destination of school leavers into higher education I don't think it will change. I think it is almost essential.

"Higher education has become mass education and more people enter higher education today than took O-levels in the early 1980s.

"The measure of performance in schools needs to shift up in the way that achievement has."

This is frankly illiteracy. Truly mindbogglingly scary. This assumes that more students who go to college is better. But is it? You are assuming that a college career is good for everybody. But it isnt. What about vocational education? What will all these college graduates do when they come out? You are assuming that they will all have jobs. Jobs as what? white collar workers? And then you moan that manufacturing is dead. Well, higher education should be for a purpose, but this blessed lady seems to think having a college degree is good enough in its own right. Rate students from the perspective of whether or not they have learnt basic knowledge to be good citizens and then allow them various streams. And be cognisant of the fact that a majority of students do not want or need to go to college.

Secondly, this idea that poor students will automatically become rich if they go to college very problematic. Why is this? Why this disdain for vocational training? And this automatically leads to an assumption that perfectly good vocational professions such as electricians, plumbing, construction etc. is bad. Why? they are good and one can make a perfectly good career and living for it. But this forcing people into college is frankly silly.

I find this kind of thinking extraordinary.

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