Cashiering the Teachers « Cork Irish


by David Webb

Cashiering the Teachers

Filed under: conservative politics — admin @ 6:20 pm

I would like to reform the education system in a way that allows for higher standards without empowering new bureaucracies to monitor all schools. In one of Chris Woodhead’s books, he speaks of how inspections are carried out in triplicate. The inspectors come, and then the inspectors of the inspectors, and the inspectors of the inspectors of the inspectors—as there is more than one body involved with monitoring schools. I believe parents should buy the school education they need for their children, and have the right to sue the school if the school does not teach well. For example, if the school does not use the “phonics” method of teaching reading, a good case to sue the school is created. By putting power in the hands of the consumers, the fact that the teachers are in the main left-wing extremists can be circumvented. To sue a failing school is a very different approach to the regulatory regimes in place now: the quality of education should be a question between the school and the parents, without regulatory bodies involved.

I have some detailed policy prescriptions. I would close down all the LEAs tomorrow and enter the names of all their employees on a Bureaucratic Parasites’ Register (BPR)- and cancel their pensions for lack of interest. People on the BPR would be subject to a lifetime ban on working in the public sector. The BPR wouldn’t be a quango, but simply an Internet list of all those so banned. There would be no secret register to pay to search: the information would be permanently in the public domain on a website.

The whole education system should be privatised or handed over to existing management and the state should get out of the sector. Basically, vouchers should replace school funding, but the vouchers should be set at a level that requires every parent to pay something. Clearly the poorest would get a voucher covering 90% of the cost, but they ought to pay at least something in order to take interest in what goes on in the school. Teachers’ salaries are determined on a school-by-school basis. Schools that underperform simply have no choose other than to cut salaries.

Beyond that, every school would be selective, and there should be no national curriculum, and school inspectorates should be closed down (and their employees entered on the BPR). The state should confine itself to monitoring exam syllabuses and marking schedules. As long as the exams are tough, presumably the schools have to raise their game. By ensuring that real content is on the exam papers, ideally set to be similar to those of the 1950s, schools simply have to teach better in order to have their little charges pass the exams.

I would introduce a baccalaureate of 1000 points. Maximum 10 subjects of 100 points each. Pupils only entered for 5 subjects can only get 500 points and so are missing out on 50% of the marks to start with. This is so that those bright students who can do 10 exams get a higher overall mark. No one scoring under 700 goes on to A level and university. The Bacc would be as follows:

1. Latin 100 marks (to include Caesar, Vergilius etc)
2. Modern language 100 marks (to include an oral)
3. English language 100 (to include tough requirements on grammar). Children who can’t spell or use the subjunctive score very badly here.
4. English literature 100 (purely consisting of Shakespeare and the Greats – basically the syllabus would require knowledge of so many Classic works, there would be no time to teach PC works.)
5. RE – knowledge of the Prayerbook and one of the Gospels of the Authorised Version of the Bible required. No Islamic or alternative option available.
6.History or Geography – knowledge of facts required to pass. Geography is about geography and not about social exclusion. History requires much more than knowledge of slavery and the Holocaust. Exam questions like “imagine you are a slave; write down your feelings” are simply deleted from exam papers: the study of slavery has a place, but this sort of “exam question” is a nonsense.
7.At least one science. There is no such thing as “double science”. Biology, physics and chemistry are separate options.
8.Mathematics – at least as rigorous as the 1950s O level.
9 and 10 – a choice of additional languages, humanities and sciences, music etc.

Schools that did not teach Latin would see their children unable to score more than 900. Schools that didn’t teach any language, Latin or modern, would see their children unable to score more than 800. Schools that taught PC books would see their children fail the English literature component. Schools that taught Islam in the RE component would see their children fail on knowledge of the Christian tradition.

But it makes no sense to monitor what happens in each class. Set the exam syllabuses and marking schedules so hard that the only way of passing is to teach a traditional curriculum – but let the schools do what they like. The Baccalaureate league table would lead to parental pressure. Parents would have the legal right to sue the schools if they felt they were not teaching the good stuff. The idea would be to make it very hard for anyone not in the top 2% of pupils to score more than 900 under this baccalaureate. A criminal investigation of the exam boards would ensue whenever more than 2% of pupils scored more than 900. As I said, no one scoring under 700 goes on to A levels. The wheat is sorted from the chaff.

Let me add that the number of people with qualifications is too high in the UK. The certificates they have are often meaningless. We have seen graduates required for jobs that previously were done by those with A levels and now for jobs previously done by those with O levels. We saw recently how a girl with GCSEs and A levels committed suicide because she was unable to find a job. It is simply wrong to create a system where degrees are required for jobs that technically do not demand anything other than good English and arithmetic. Why is a degree required to work in a travel agents’ office? Indeed, why are A levels required? The job technically does not require any qualifications at all.

We need to substantially reduce the numbers with A levels and degrees, not in order to take opportunity away from people, but in order to restore it. Most of these degrees are nothing more than a detailed grilling in left-wing propaganda anyway. The teacher training colleges should be closed down (and their employees entered on the BPR) and schools required to conduct their own training.

* Compulsory education abolished. Home schooling and no schooling become fully acceptable—and no supervision of home-schooled children is carried out.
* All coursework for exams abolished. Everything is on the final exam with no appeal allowed. Pupils can sit the entire year again and then take the exams the following year – no public funding for repeating a year would be available; parents would have to pay the full tuition fee.
* Corporal punishment – 6 of the best – introduced in all schools. Parents are not permitted to object.
* Schools required to keep order and prevent bullying – the headmaster subject to criminal charges (abetting violence among pupils in his care) if he doesn’t. Parents can also sue the schools if the headmaster fails to keep order in the school.
* School league tables remain in existence: schools are judged on the exam results of all children in their care, including those entered for no exams, so the current bureaucratic fraud of labelling children dyslexic, attention-deficit and dyscalculic, comes to an end
* Hectoring the children on multiculturalism becomes a criminal offence. The Crown Prosecution Service plays no role in such prosecutions. Parents initiate prosecutions themselves on a “no win, no fee” basis.
* Hectoring the children on support for “gay” sexuality becomes a criminal offence (=Section 28 restored).
* Sex education criminalised.
* The child measurement programme is cancelled – measuring children’s weight at schools is defined as a human rights abuse.
* Normal food reintroduced in school canteens.
* Christian assemblies required in all schools, required of demographic composition.
* School uniform standards enforced. Parents of schools where girls are no longer required to wear skirts can sue the schools.
* The Criminal Records Bureau checks are ended. Schools are required to be open to the general public. Padlocking children behind locked doors out of a misplaced security panic is defined as false imprisonment—a criminal offence.

Cashiering the Teachers « Cork Irish

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27 responses to “Cashiering the Teachers « Cork Irish

  1. This was my article. I forgot to say that there is no such thing as truancy. Parents don’t have to send their children to be propagandized, and it is up to parents to ensure the children go to school, if indeed they wish them to do so.

  2. Sounds good, but I fear that the education gene-pool is now so shallow that it will be nigh on impossible to find sufficient numbers of teachers who have the knowledge necessary to teach to this standard.

  3. Whether RE is taught or not should be down to the school; I’d rather not see it taught at all. The government shouldn’t be endorsing the teaching of it either.

  4. @Fed up: yes, I think the majority of teachers would struggle doing old-style O levels themselves.

    @Jimbo: libertarianism is meaningless in the absence of a common culture. After all a multicultural society is specifically set up to justify big government. All English children should know their religious heritage. In fact, the fact that you speak up for antinomianism is one sign that you did not benefit from a good education. I am not a true believer – I believe religion is just cultural…

  5. I could not have written this better, even had I tried!

    As a libertarian, however, I’d probably allow selections of PC “books” to be in school libraries under this system, just to see actually how many students take them and read them. I suspect not many, from comments to me by local teenagers being “educated” here.

    Not sure about corporal punishment actually. Yes, it never did us any harm, but I think too much water has flowed under bridges since then on that one. We can undo most of the GramscoFabiaNazi damage, but as that Tolkien man wanted to tell us in the “Lord of the Rings”, sadly, not all of it. But it might be worth a try: it would ultimately be up to parents, who would be the practical arbiters of this.

  6. one word “Inspired”

  7. Replace multiculturalism with uniculturalism

  8. David Davis, I read the Lord of the Rings when I was 14, which was a lifetime ago. Can you explain your literary allusion?

  9. I have to apologize for writing “choose” instead of “choice”. The sentence involved was a late addition to the article, but a poorly written one at that!

  10. In Tolkien’s legendarium, coercion is the principal evil.

    No libertarian can possibly support the initiation of aggression. The purpose of these attacks (a form of torture) is to coerce. To inflict pain from injuries on a defenceless person is a crude attempt to force someone to change their minds.

    No self-respecting educator can possibly want such power. Someone who does want to inflict it is unfit to be allowed anywhere near children.

    Tony

  11. Ah, the absence of doubt, the benefits of certainty – what a wonderful world it must be!! It’s black, it’s white, no shades of grey allowed. Thus, with a click of the author’s fingers we can remove the State from education but insist that Christian assembly be made compulsory. We can remove the State but criminalise – that’s criminalise – sex education. While we’re at it, let’s also insist on ‘normal’ food – whatever that is – enforce the wearing of school uniforms and pop in a little corporal punishment to boot. Oh, and despite the abolition of a national curriculum, let’s define one anyway, and have the State ‘monitor the exam syllabuses and marking schedules’ of all schools to ensure they meet with the authors exacting standards. After all, to reach the promised land is not easy, and ‘culturally homogeneity’ is an obvious prerequisite for a libertarian nirvana.

    What a load of incoherent bollocks. If this is anyway typical (though, for what it is worth, I don’t really think it is ) of what claims to be, or passes for, libertarianism these days, it’s not a wonder its adherents remain entirely marginalised and regarded, for the most part, with utter disdain.

    That the author considers libertarianism to be “meaningless in the absence of a common culture” speaks volumes for his mindset. He is, in reality, no different from any other ideologue seeking to enforce his particular will upon all others by whatever means are at his disposal.

    Appeals to mythical notions such as ‘common culture’ and / or the threat presented to such notions by some allegedly dastardly ‘other’, wherever they may be, are the everyday fare of the most murderous institutions ever conceived by man – principally, religious and territorial States. On such grounds forced collectivism, continual war, and death on an almost unimaginable scale has been, and continues to be, justified.

    Try moving your individual identity beyond the traditional tribal, religious and national boundaries. I would suggest you start by thinking of yourself as a sovereign individual first and foremost, and taking it from there – it really can be very invigorating.

    Then again, like Jimbo, maybe I too “did not benefit from a good education” – Sheesh!!

    And Glen, rather than “replace multiculturalism with uniculturalism”, how about each to their own on a voluntary basis, or is the thought of folk having different opinions, beliefs, attitudes and culinary habits too much for you to comprehend.

    AD

  12. @dj :-

    In “The Lord of the Rings”, evil is ultimately conquered, at least for now. But as Tolkien himself said in one of his lectures as an aside, when informally questioned after the session, he wanted in the book to make the point that “much has been lost”, and he wanted us to go through our lives not always and everywhere expecting things to be the same as before it happened.

    Being quite old, I was fortunate to be young at a time when one could still attend the few lectures that he gave. They were packed out.
    We as scientists were encouraged by our own tutors and professors to attend whatever lectures we thought would please us and make us happy, in whatever School (English, Greats, philosophy, etc and the like) provided that we would come to our designated ones and also, importantly, our lab-times.

  13. Archie, the difference is that it is up to parents to “suss” out if the schools are doing things right, and to sue as necessary. Not up to regulatory bodies. And as I believe in the abolition of the Crown Prosecution Service, it would up to parents to sue on a “no win, no fee” basis. To argue against corporal punishment is to call for the schools to carry on as they are. If -and it is a huge “if” – the school can maintain discipline without corporal punishment, fine. But if discipline is clearly not being maintained, then the school must to something about it. The parents can sue the schools otherwise.

    I am not calling for regulation of schools. Only for a “definition” of what a well-run school is (school uniforms, enforcement of discipline, learning of foreign languages, absence of political propaganda to the children, and yes, the learning of something about our religious heritage). But – notice this – I say again for Archie Dean in case he has not noticed – notice this – it is up to parents to take whatever action they see fit. If the school does not teach RE – and bearing in mind there would be no legal duty to to so – and all the parents approve of that – then they can carry on like that, as indeed there are no inspectors. But if a parent objects that his child has reached age 15 without reading a verse of the King James Bible – that parent could sue on a “no win, no fee” basis. There would be no regulatory or police involvement. I am afraid I regard “sex education” as legalized paedophilia, but let us leave that to the parents too to sort out.

    Black and white, no shades of grey – yes. Yes, you’ve got it. Archie Dean, you have at least understood my article. You have it in one. We have spent too long pretending all views are of equal value. Education at the speed of the child, and all that rot. It is time to assert that such-and-such a thing is good education, and its absence is not. I don’t mean state bodies (other than courts handing down fines) should intervene to make that type of education come about, but parents should be empowered to insist that the education they buy for the children is of good quality.

    Clearly, the problem I am trying to address is that of “producer capture”. The teachers are left-wing extremists, and simply privatizing the state system would not resolve their producer power. It would be very convenient for the producer interest for poor-quality exams to continue. I am not an anarchist and don’t believe in a zero state. But a much smaller state (less than a third of the present size) would be ideal. The size of a quango to monitor exam papers is much smaller than a quango to monitor every classroom.

  14. I was going to launch a diatribe about multiculturalism vs. a common culture, but I think that is really a subject for a different essay, and I would like to keep the discussion on education, although clearly there is an educational angle to multiculturalism.

  15. @dj
    If you would like to write something formal, we could put it up as a post.

    We can also sign you onto the LA blog as a contributor, for a one off or for a period, if you have a wordpress ID (we do NOT need to know your password!)

  16. I would like to write on multiculturalism, if that’s what you mean, but I don’t want to run the risk of putting up things you may object to, and don’t have time to write an article today!

    Can I explain about my site? I am an Englishman in England, but I am learning the Cork dialect of Irish Gaelic.

  17. @dj :-

    You can write about anything you like on here. And you can write it some other time if that’s all right.

    I’m multicultural myself, me, but I won’t object about anything.

  18. @David Davis, I don’t think you could reasonably describe yourself as a libertarian if you are multicultural. You sound mixed-up more than anything else. “I subscribe to all the government’s propaganda, and I am libertarian”. WTF?

  19. “All English children should know their religious heritage. In fact, the fact that you speak up for antinomianism is one sign that you did not benefit from a good education.”

    That fact that I oppose religion is no proof of a lack of education on my part. Quite the opposite, in fact. If you want to buy into a particular religion, that’s up to you; it’s your choice as a free individual, but the state, however, has no business trying promote it. The conent of most, if not all religions, is unscientific and arbitrary.

    Again, don’t make assumptions about my education; I was privately educated from eight to eighteen, which left me mostly free from statist indoctrination. In fact, as my RE teacher put it (in words similar to these):

    “The purpose of this subject isn’t to teach you to be a Vicar or a Nun. It’s to teach you why we celebrate Easter and Christmas. It’s to teach you why a Sikh may be offended if you ask him to remove his turban and why. It’s to teach you why a Muslim will not eat pork and why.”

    It’s certainly useful in understanding people from other cultures and learning about Christianity and how it relates to the nation’s history (Cromwell etc.) has its place too, but you seem to have a rather different agenda.

  20. Jimbo,

    I have decided not to write any more on this site after this post. After finding out that key members of the “libertarian” alliance are pro-multiculturalism, I doubt that Sean Gabb has managed to surround himself with people of any quality. In any serious libertarian organisation, support for multiculturalism would be evidence of pro-managerial leanings – ie, support for the managerial ruling class.

    As for your nonsense, Jimbo: I was not taught anything about Judaism, Sikhism or Islam at school, but I did my O levels in 1985. It seems like you are a much more recent pupil in the secondary school system. I find it hard to believe that a teacher before AD 2000 would have claimed that RE lessons were aimed at teaching you why Muslims don’t eat pork. If that was indeed the content of your RE lessons, then I was right to say you didn’t get a good education.

    I explain some of the reason to uphold our religious traditions in a blogpost at http://www.corkirish.com/wordpress/archives/1124 . I make no bones about the fact that religion for me is just cultural, and nothing to do with science or history. An edited version (removing comments about the untruth of Christianity) was published in the now defunct Right Now! Another blogpost of mine of relevance is at http://www.corkirish.com/wordpress/archives/404 . There I try to explain the connection between the individuation of society and the increase in state intervention. State intervention follows the weakening of civil society. The lack of any social bonds with your neighbours and exaggerated fear of crime, owing to social anomie, encourage people to accept a more direct relationship, not horizontally within society with other people, but vertically with the state authorities.

    Liberalism or even libertarianism without a common culture is just licence. See Afghanistan for a libertarian society. Or Somalia would be an even better example. What we lost in this country was a society where PEOPLE DID NOT NEED STATE INTERVENTION. THAT IS BECAUSE THERE WERE HORIZONTAL BONDS OF A COMMON CULTURE BETWEEN THEM. They behaved well as a function of their culture. I suppose some libertarians would say that to try to foster positive cultural trends would be interventionism of a new type, but the fact is that the collapse of the old culture has justified state intervention. A Jimbo in the 1950s would have been subject to cultural pressure not to have 5 children by five different women he was not married to. Jimbo in 2010 probably thinks he should be able to do so without being subject to “religious propaganda”. I am telling you that it is the decline of a culture where people were well-behaved as a matter of course that has led to the state getting more involved.

    Maybe Sean Gabb’s idea that conservatives and “libertarians” have something in common is mistaken. Jimbo’s version of libertarianism is Derek Jarman’s Jubilee. He applauds social atomization because it is the destruction of the horizontal bonds of culture, and hopes to maintain social atomization while getting rid of the vertical kybosh of the state. To have a free society that works, you need a cultural settlement that is internalised in the population. “Libertarianism” that ignores that point has fundamentally misunderstood society. You can’t live in an atomized society AND call for libertarianism–an atomized society is one that requires state intervention. Over and out.

  21. @dj :-

    But I only meant that _/I/_ (which is to say, “me”) is multicultural, not that I ?favour? multiculturalism….

    …perhaps I was not clear?

    I had a Lebanese-french-prebyterian mother who was half-Syrian and one-eighth Iraqi-Kurd, , and my father was 1/4 Scotch, 1/4 Huguenot and half-cockney.

  22. Well I am of English, Irish and Finnish origin, and I have one ancestor who may have been a Gypsy. But I am totally opposed to multiculturalism. I am not interested in any kind of “libertarianism” that holds that we are not a multicultural society, and that we should continue in that vein under the rubric of “letting people do what they want”. We have people doing what they want now – but this type of “freedom” is just the excuse for a managerial state. Social individuation is not actually a society of freethinkers – but people who lack the cultural bonds of a real society and are easily drawn into a direct relationship with the state. As John Stuart Mill said, “Free institutions are next to impossible in a country made up of different nationalities. Among a people without fellow-feeling, especially if they read and speak different languages, the united public opinion, necessary to the working of representative government, cannot exist”. This is from http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/mill/john_stuart/m645r/chapter16.html , which repays close reading.

  23. “I am not interested in any kind of “libertarianism” that holds that we are not a multicultural society” – TYPO. I meant “and kind of libertarianism that holds we are NOW a multicultural society”.

  24. @dj :-
    I never said that a “multicultural society” was good – as created by GramscoFabiaNazis on purpose in specifically the Anglosphere, as a weapon of destruction.

    In fact if you read some of my posts over the years, you will see that I believe the opposite.

  25. “As for your nonsense, Jimbo: I was not taught anything about Judaism, Sikhism or Islam at school, but I did my O levels in 1985. It seems like you are a much more recent pupil in the secondary school system. I find it hard to believe that a teacher before AD 2000 would have claimed that RE lessons were aimed at teaching you why Muslims don’t eat pork.”

    You believe wrong. I finished school in 93.

    “Liberalism or even libertarianism without a common culture is just licence. See Afghanistan for a libertarian society.”

    Is this a joke?

    “I am telling you that it is the decline of a culture where people were well-behaved as a matter of course that has led to the state getting more involved.”

    That’s a reversal of cause and effect. The state wanted to get more involved, looked for excuses, and found them. Christianity sure didn’t make people “behave” and even if it did, the basis on which it did so was little more than a lie.

    “You can’t live in an atomized society AND call for libertarianism–an atomized society is one that requires state intervention. Over and out.”

    The idea that monoculture is some sort of antidote for statism is utterly misguided; Statism existed long before multiculturalism (i.e. Hitler didn’t need multiculturalism to take power in 1933).

    You seem to think that because the multiculturalist fantasy pushed at us by statists is bad, eschewing a common culture must be an inherently good thing and that filling the void with any old nonsense will do.

    Don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out.

  26. Roger Thornhill

    If you want to set up a school to operate under the list you propose, then fine, go ahead. Please.

    Want to impose that list on all schools, on the schools my kids will go to? Go boil your head.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but it is as simple as that.

    I do not wish to exchange one tyranny with another, even if that tyranny does nothing that is currently against my free will, for I may change my mind or facts and situations may change it for me. And then there will be blood.

  27. Can someone explain to me what the Pastoral subject entails