Sunday, March 12, 2017

UK: Established grammar schools must offer lower pass marks to poorer pupils

It is entirely reasonable for Grammars to do all they can to get poor but bright kids into their classes -- but admitting poor and dumb students undermines the whole point of a selective school.  This is politics gone mad

All existing grammar schools will be forced to offer lower 11-plus pass marks to poorer children or embrace similar radical moves to end the middle-class stranglehold.

Reforms to be announced next month will compel grammars to increase their intake of children from deprived backgrounds in an attempt to counter criticism that they are elitist.

The move is intended to open the best selective schools to Theresa May’s “ordinary working families” but is likely to provoke hostility in the largely Conservative-run areas where most grammars are in place.

Ministers have previously stated that the new generation of grammar schools planned by Mrs May must show that they will accept significant proportions of disadvantaged pupils.


We Hear You: The NAACP, Political Correctness, and School Choice

Editor’s note: Today your letters include thoughtful responses to a commentary by school choice activist Virginia Walden Ford and to a Daily Signal supporter’s appeal about making a difference on important issues. Want to write us? You’ll see how below. —Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: I agree with Virginia Walden Ford’s commentary article. The NAACP has become useless because the leadership has devolved from their original goals of helping black people advance (“I’m a Black Woman Whose Relatives Fought for Civil Rights. I’m Disappointed in NAACP’s War on School Choice”).

The NAACP has become a political arm of the Democrats.

Education is the most important goal in bringing anyone out of their past and into a brighter future. I can attest to that goal, because my mother felt the same way. I am a native American from Alaska, and did experience hunger and poor conditions.

My grade school teacher told my mother that I was a slow learner, so pushed me to do my homework and not just finish what was assigned but all the problems.

I was held back in the first grade, but I made that up in the seventh grade. I graduated to the eighth grade and did well. My mom sent me to a parochial boarding school, even though it put a burden on her.

I excelled and graduated as a valedictorian with a degree in electronics, even though I missed a year due to tuberculosis. Electronics was in its infancy and “solid state” was the new term. I worked as a failure analyst in the position of supervising lab engineer.

All children should be afforded the same opportunities as I received. The education system has become abysmal because of political correctness. It is no longer acceptable to hold back students even if they are failing at their current grade.

There are also the great experiments that have failed the children. The current fad, Common Core, is the worst because your answer could be wrong and still be judged correct.

I would like to see a spaceship sent to Mars with the calculations wrong, with the engineer explaining how he arrived at the wrong calculation—and he would not be fired.

Parents should be able to determine where to send their children to receive the best education. I sent my children to another school district because their school ranked in the bottom one-third. The problem was that the teachers would lower their course for the bottom of the class, and my sons were bored. There was no challenge to keep their minds busy.

The other problem was discipline. The teachers were not allowed to correct unruly children because it would “hurt” the children mentally. Charter schools do not have those problems, because the children can be expelled and the teachers do help the slow learners.


Students at Sydney boys' high 'at high risk of Islamic radicalisation' after the school's top student fled to Syria to join ISIS

Students at a boys' high school were 'at high risk of radicalisation' because one of the top pupils fled to Syria to join Islamic state after he graduated.

Parents have told The Australian students at Canterbury Boys High School in southwest Sydney began the government-funded anti-radicalisation program last year - after their 2013 dux Samir Atwani joined Islamic State.

Punchbowl Boys High School was also reportedly identified as needing the specialist program, but the school refused and principal Chris Griffiths with his deputy Joumana Dennaoui were later dismissed.

The Education Department would not confirm which schools were in the program, saying it would breach privacy and operational rules.

Another spokesperson for the department had said the program, School Communities Working Together, was not a 'deradicalisation program' - but a 'proactive program designed to support students'.

The Education Department said it had conducted an 'extensive appraisal of the school's policies, procedures and management'.

The investigation was prompted by its refusal to participate in School Community Working Together, department boss Mark Scott said.

Staff made a series of serious complaints in 2016.

Women teachers had been prevented from participating in official events such as the Year 12 graduation ceremony, it was alleged.

Daily Mail Australia has approached Canterbury Boys High School and the Department of Education for comment.


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