One set of data shows children’s average vocabulary scores at the age of five – when pupils start compulsory education – and ranks them from one to 100.
Children with highly educated parents in Britain – those who had at least a degree – ranked 67 on average, while those whose mothers and fathers left school with few qualifications had an average rank of 29.
The 38 point gap was “significantly larger” in Britain than in all countries other than America, where it extended to 46 points.
The problem being that there\’s more than one possible way of explaining it. A bit like that conundrum about the way prices move in a perfectly competitive and in oligopolistic markets. They\’ll move in concert in both cases and purely observing the price changes doesn\’t tell you which type of market you\’re observing.
Here the way we\’re encouraged to interpret the numbers is that highly educated parents educate their kids, teach them to read, talk to them with their larger vocabulareies, before the children go to school. And that the schooling for poor children in the UK is shit.
In a blow to Labour’s education legacy, the watchdog said schools serving the poorest 20 per cent of pupils were four times more likely to be “inadequate” than those for the wealthiest 20 per cent.
I certainly wouldn\’t disagree with either point.
However, it is possible to look at the same statistics and come to a very different conclusion. Assume that intelligence is inheritable (which it is, it\’s the extent to which it is which is scientifically disputed…..ignore the numpties further left who insist that each and every child is an equal blank slate upon which society draws).
We could then say, well, so what? The Anglo Saxon societies have got it right: the intelligent are getting the uni educations, excellent, the dim are not. And that carries on into the next generation as intelligence is inheritable. We would expect the children of the intelligent to be intelligent, the dim dim and that\’s all we\’re seeing.
No, I don\’t believe it either, not as starkly as that, but it is a possible conclusion to draw from those bald statistics.