Thursday, May 24, 2007

Desiccated Calculating Machines

The DfES have been holding ‘Standards Conferences’ to dole out the targets for SATs tests to stressed out primary head teachers, the message at our one was, ‘we know you’re working hard, but basically you’re crap’.

“Good progress” is now deemed to be two full levels per Key Stage, so one level from Year 2 to Year 4 and another from Year 4 to Year 6. 100% of children at Level 2C or above at Key Stage 1 are expected to reach Level 4 at the end of Key Stage 2 and 45% of those at W or Level 1 will also be expected to reach Level 4.

The latest wheeze is to use ‘tracking’ through regular testing to pressure teachers. That is one reason why there needs to be caution about just scrapping Key Stage 2 tests, the DfES are mooting putting in more tests, not less. Naturally all of these ‘expectations’ will be monitored by Ofsted and will be another stick to beat schools with.

All this just shows what a farce and stunt the ‘Excellence and Enjoyment’ documents were. As long as you have high stakes tests schools will go down the route of basic skills teaching in the core subjects.

We really do have the triumph of the desiccated calculating machines, the robots from the DfES who view children as so many figures on a spreadsheet or co-ordinates on a graph. Where do they find these people?


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