Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Wishes

Yo, fucking Ho
In the true spirit of Xmas, some bloggers are turning their mind to what kind of festive gift they would offer their best beloved politicians. I can't really outdo some of the thoughtful gifts that have been suggested for these well-loved (swap 'well' with 'self' and it starts to sound honest) characters.

Throw in an afternoon of Xmas shopping in Dante's twentieth level of hell (Kingston-upon-Thames) and my cup of human kindness runnethed under so badly I began to wonder what they themselves would be asking for:
Dear Santa,

My name is Gordon and everyone tells me that I am a good boy, apart from nasty people who are fibbing, and not doing proper fibs like what I do.

I don't want much this Xmas because I got a good present already this year, but my friends are cross with me 'cos I broke it. I was trying to look after it, honest, even my best friend (Ballsey, not the pretend one) says so.

I would like something called a 'spine' though. Everyone says the head boy at school before me had one, but he wouldn't let me borrow it. Lots of people got cross because he had one, even his mates, but it made him look cool. Can I have one too, pleasssssssse!

I'd like a new woolly jumper too, or if I can't have that I'd like some good policies. Whenever I have to play top-trumps with that rotter Cameron at break on Wednesdays he always wins even though he doesn't have many policy things, but his are OK and mine are rubbish cause I don't have enough time to write them out before they go wrong. Even when I borrow his cards I get into trouble for not writing him a "thank-you" letter!!!! He is nasty to me, Santa, even nastier than my friends even if they only pretend to be nice even though some of them say there should even be another head boy!!!

If I can't have some of my own or some of Cameron's can I have some of the orange gang's? (shhh Santa...don't call them that or some of them get cross)...They have loads!!!!! Like if they play against snotty Murdoch in the lower school they have one lot, and then they hide those and use other one's when play against Toynbee junior...that is cheating should not give them presents at all!

Finally, can I have some 'charisma', I think it's like some kind of after-shave or something. I don't think that bully-boy Cameron or crappy Cleggy even shave (he is sooooooooo cross because his mate Huhne does and they almost made him house captain as well!!) so why can't I have some!!! It's not fair!

Thank you Santa,


PS Cough up you beardie fucker or I will tax the hooves off those bloody reindeer of yours, bang you up until the middle of January for your illegal Al-Queda inspired overflights of the UK, and wait until headmaster Barosso finds out that you do different stuff in different countries!!!!!!! He'll make you write out 67 squillion lines in Latin, or French or whatever it is, and even getting smelly Miliband to do it for you doesn't get you out of it.

Play ball, and I'll send you some new elves for your sweatshop to help you because they are not fagging for me properly. Give me my presents and you can have Miliband, Smith, Harman, that little Scottish lass and the bloke with weird eyebrows that always is creeping around me just because he grew up in the same village as me and her. Deal?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Measures of Success?

Measuring Achievement?
It's been a bit hard to blog anything for the last few days as my heart's really not been in it, or anything else for that matter. The rip roaring excitement of the Lib Dem leadership election wasn't quite enough to snap me out of it, actually as it happened that particular bit of breaking news wasn't even enough to snap me out of a very light post-luncheon snooze this afternoon.

Luckily for me, though probably not for future generations of school children, some later news on the government's highly suspect plans for 'Advanced Diplomas' has at least partially roused me from my slumber.

According to a BBC report, the University Admissions service, UCAS, has decided that the proposed new diplomas should be worth more than three 'A' levels on their points system. Fortunately, the BBC manages to summarise the salient bit of information in just one line in one of its information boxes:
Advanced - takes broadly the same time to do as three A-levels, worth 3.5 A-levels

Source: BBC News

Where the article is a little light though is on where this 17% increase in pupils natural ability and effort or teaching efficiency is going to come from, however I can already envisage the government of whatever political colour it may be at the time, crowing over such a radical success, however illusory it may actually be.

I'm not sure what the nature of UCAS is, whether for example it falls under the somewhat overused term of 'quango', but to an extent it hardly matters. It must deal with primarily with public institutions and examination systems whose basic structure is dictated by the government and will know that any suggestion of anything other than continuing success, at least as far as statistics are concerned, will simply not be tolerated.

Already, as the BBC report reminds us, only four in 10 university admissions officers in a survey stated that the Diploma would be a "good alternative" to A-levels and the Russell Group of leading universities has expressed qualms over the scheme. Little good though will it do either group, so addicted now have successive education secretaries become to suspect statistics over the real world experiences of the likes of the universities and employers.

Sadly I suspect that when the scheme extends to more traditional academic areas, limiting choices to broad brush stroke subjects such as 'Humanities', 'Science' and so forth, the voices of the achievement hating 'anti-elitists' will further entrench the worrying drift of the upper end of the secondary education system towards the type of model inflicted on the same pupils earlier in their school career.