Free Schools: the stake in the heart of the Progressive vampire

Last night I saw the future of education in Britain – and it worked.

The occasion was the launch of Katharine Birbalsingh’s free school in Lambeth, South London. As a local parent I was naturally very interested in this because at the moment round these parts you have two options when your kids turn 11: either you consign them to the dustbin of whichever failing state school you’re unlucky enough to get them into. Or you consign yourself to an old age of misery and penury by forking out for one of the many excellent local private schools.

Having just been in America, I know that in the States (Canada too) parents face very similar problems. And it has nothing to do with poor/ethnic kids finding it harder…

(to read more, click here)

7 thoughts on “Free Schools: the stake in the heart of the Progressive vampire”

  1. Yet this is what Birbalsingh’s opponents are trying to do. I call this not just misguided. I call this actively evil. There is no excuse for what they are doing. It is plain wrong.

    Double-Plus right!

    According to Iain McGilchrist, these types are dominated by uncontrollable optimism. It is the kind of mentality which swept the German people along to be complicit with inhuman outrage, simply by the capacity to exorcise out of their minds, the merest thought that they could be wrong.

    State evil is said to happen when good people do nothing, but I think the British public education catastrophe, shows that evil happens because too many voters are being convinced that ‘nothing is wrong’. The ‘Hitlerian big lie’ has been swallowed for the last 29 years (graphical extrapolation of A-level and O-level results, indicate 1982 as the turning point.).

    The dialectical equivalent to Wellington and B17 bombers from the west, with T34 tanks from the east, to wake the damned up from their trance toward moral oblivion, is to ask these Marxist-Feminist ‘teachers’ to explain how 1 million boys on Ritalin, equals: “Education… education… education”?

  2. Good essay. Free schools do represent a great opportunity to raise the standards of state education – and more power to all involved.
    One tiny quibble though – is learning about Mary Seacole really so bad it has to be lumped in with “knifing techniques, grievance awareness and one-parent-housing-benefit application” – I appreciate you were making a lefty-liberal-ruination-of-education point but learning about Mary Seacole alongside Florence Nightingale is hardly too much to ask is it? I agree we should get back to what was best in the ‘old-style’ education but we could retain one or two of the better points of modern education. There’s always room for a happy medium!

  3. The ‘Hitlerian big lie’ has been swallowed for the last 29 years (graphical extrapolation of A-level and O-level results, indicate 1982 as the turning point.).

    – JimmyGiro

    It was Thatcher who was in power in 1982. She also “replaced” the O-level and CSE with the GCSE in 1988, which wasn’t a replacement of anything because there were two GCSE exams in each subject, one version with a top score of C which was equivalent to the top CSE result, and a tougher separate paper for those who wanted grades A and B. So it was merely an exercise in political renaming at vast expense, with no basic substance.

    The increasing percentage of candidates scoring high results over the past three decades is dut to catering the qualifications to fit the abilities of a larger percentage of the candidates, in an objective way. If you look at the further pure maths A-level questions from 1982, they’re simply Oxbridge-entry pseudo-IQ tests. Evaluate the integral of cosec squared theta between minus and plus half Pi. There’s very limited true intelligence involved in memorizing and practising a long list of the methods in the textbooks until you become an automaton, unless you want to teach that stuff or become a politician.

    What you get are people with a good memory for trivia, or those allowed to stay up on coffee cramming the whole night before the exam, getting A grades, and promptly forgetting most of it straight after the exam to make room for the next cramming session and exam. The more recent changes are towards genuine understanding, with project and course work becoming more influential in “exams”. In a nutshell, the exam system before 1982 was mainly acting as a sieve, the emphasis being to distinguish some from others. After 1982, the education system was refocussed towards educating all candidates to learn, rather than just pandering to an elite few at the expense of failing or low-grading the many.

  4. Nige Cook: “It was Thatcher who was in power in 1982.”

    True, and when she entered in 1979, the wheels of subversion by the Marxist-Feminist Metropolitan councils began to turn ever faster (recall the riots of 81?). The many teaching colleges around the country were controlled by those councils; and it’s fairly clear that the examination boards were not centrally governed, but controlled by Universities. That was one of the big things regarding Thatcher’s regime: give more autonomy to the local councils.

    Check here:

    https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DFES-00389-2007

    View the pdf at page 18, you will see the graphs for boys and girls plotted together, regarding school leavers with 5 or more GCSEs or equivalents.

    Prior to 1986, the graph shows boys and girls on par. After 1986, they diverge, hence what you say regarding the change of educational style from mere memorizing, to ‘whole’ learning, should be true for boys and girls, as it was previous. The fact that it favoured the girls and not the boys, in conjunction with the increase of feminist teachers, and their misandric attitudes, exemplified by the Ritalin abuse, almost exclusively on boys, suggests that your hypothesis is wrong:

    http://jimmygiro.blogspot.com/2008/08/educating-ritalin.html

  5. JimmyGiro ,

    Thanks for that data. The only view I have on this is that of the abuse of the educational system by favoring one bullshit definition of “intelligence”, and thereby biasing knowledge brokers by filtering who enters them. It’s the same system as in the USSR and Nazi regimes. If you think “correctly” (fashionably), you’re intelligent, even if you have no trace or originality, no new ideas, no skills of your own, and just follow orders. If you go for facts rather than a consensus of fashionable left-wing liars, then you’re in serious trouble. There’s no real problem with fashionable consensus, that’s fine as long as we’re all honest and call the spade a spade. The only problems arise pretending a consensus based on lies is intelligent becasue “so many people can’t all be wrong, by definition”. It’s not the content of old-style education that’s the problem. It’s the subversive left-wing liars who endlessly and deliberately confuse originality with learning, brainwashing with knowledge, lies with facts, honesty with discourtesy, drivel with charm, and failure with success.

  6. Nige Cook,

    I sense we are more in agreement than not, but we are approaching this agreement from different perspectives.

    I keep banging on about the gender difference, for example, because it allows us not to just see the changes, but to be able to gauge the purpose of those changes; as the system is experienced by both boys and girls ‘equally’, they should be effected equally assuming there are no gender political aberrations, exposing the manipulation. In other words, the boys and girls, act as each others control group, by which we can assess the level of aberration.

    As for the Soviets, I think the KGB wisely exported feminism rather than importing it. For example, Soviet women had an automatic right to equality, therefore didn’t need any misandric, self promoting, entitlement queens.

    As a corollary, the Soviet education system has not suffered from misandric feminism, thus Russian boys are well educated, especially in science and engineering. If you are a computer games player, you might notice the relatively high proportion of advanced games coming from the former soviet block.

  7. Jimmy, my point about “traditional” educational fashion (or groupthink) delusions is made clear in the context of the plight of “not Even Wrong” theoretical particle physics which has gone too far down the yellow brick road: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukNbQEq4kEE (science writer John Horgan interviewing quantum field theorist Peter Woit on the lies of superstring dogma).

    The important point to note is that pedagogy or the system of education itself has nothing to do with facts. You can teach lies, you can teach witchcraft, you can teach eugenics, you can teach bullshit. You can brainwash people with racism or AGW lies using “education”. You can measure the absorption of bullshit using exams and statistics and prove who effectively you are teaching it. You can, as the video interview shows, you can dress up lying as “science” which can’t be falsified by experiment. Just stick in extra dimensions and make “predictions” about an energy scale 10^16 times what you can test at the LHC. Furthermore, when these lies are made, they’re defended on the basis of authority status. A large enough number of people will believe “authoritative” stuff.

    Why do enough people believe lies like AGW and string theory, to screw up science?

    The answer is, indoctrination via education. They’re taught to believe authority, and not to question it, not to be suspicious of fashion but to embrace it. They’re taught to believe the reigning dogma, regardless of whether it based on proved facts, or based on just just a tower of “plausible” conjectures or hypotheses taped together.

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